AuthorTopic: thoughts on my kurama?  (Read 289 times)

Offline damogeko

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thoughts on my kurama?

on: July 29, 2019, 07:33:57 pm
so i'm a newbie in pixel art and i've been stuck with this for a while now, i'm kinda having problems with shading and drawing pixelated fur. I tried to make it more realistic and drawing some fur but it always ended up just looking weird. What do you think?
(sorry for any mistakes, english is not my native language)
« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 06:10:26 pm by damogeko »

Offline daramon

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Re: thoughts on my kurama?

Reply #1 on: August 05, 2019, 01:05:43 pm
There's a great example of making a fox look "furry" in the featured section:

https://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19686.0

It's long and takes time to get going, but the results are very impressive. You can probably find a lot of what you need there.


For a very brief idea, look at this example image I found online. Notice a few things:

1: The fur effect is applied to the outline of the character as well as internally.
2: The artist isn't drawing every strand of fur, just giving an impression of fur by breaking up the outlines of shaded areas or adding in occasional rough detail.



This could give you a head start in thinking about how to make something look furry.

Offline daramon

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Re: thoughts on my kurama?

Reply #2 on: August 05, 2019, 01:32:32 pm
I thought that the images you presented were a bit eye-searing and lo and behold, I load it into Pyxel Edit and I find that all your colors have "saturation" slammed to max.

A rule of thumb I go by is never to max out saturation when drawing my basic shapes. I start off making it a bit right-of-centre, like 60%-70% or so. I want somewhere to go if I need it, and I don't want to burn the retinas of the people looking at my art.

Lots of saturation makes things look like they're glowing, so your character looks radioactive. It's also harder to create shade as everything's emitting light!

When shading your character, pick some more obvious shade tones. You want to really see the difference between light and shade. You're putting a lot of work into this, make sure people notice it!

Try hue shifting your shades so the darker ones are more towards a colder color like blue and the lighter ones more towards a warmer color like orange or yellow. Like with picking shade values, you can be reasonably obvious with this effect. If you try to be too subtle you won't notice it.

When it comes to shade, I tend to use it for two main purposes. Firstly, things in the background can be made darker to give the image depth. Secondly, things that are pointing away from the light or in shadow should be darker. Think about where the light is coming from and which parts of your character will be brightest and darkest.

Finally, for the sake of my eyes, please pick a background color that isn't white! Try a pastel shade in a color opposite to your main character's color on the color wheel, maybe. In this case a nice light green perhaps?

Offline daramon

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Re: thoughts on my kurama?

Reply #3 on: August 06, 2019, 11:20:40 am
I just noticed that the example image I found was also working on 100% saturation for the two shades it was using. I don't recommend using this palette.

It could be that this intense saturation is part of the feel/personality of the character (who I admittedly don't recognize). If that's the case then at least these shades are separate enough in hue and value that there's an obvious difference.

Offline Keops

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Re: thoughts on my kurama?

Reply #4 on: August 07, 2019, 12:17:57 am
Hey there damogeko

I made a quick edit, maybe it's better to explain than words.



But basically it boils to:
- Have clean lines/silhouettes before coloring
- Add shades to make shapes pop out, give volume, otherwise it looks too flat

If you have any questions just let me know!
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Offline daramon

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Re: thoughts on my kurama?

Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 12:59:26 pm
That's beautiful Keops. I love your style.

I made a couple of iterative steps working more on the front side of the beast. These are really quick and rough to demonstrate some ideas, not polished or finished.



Here I took your ear and smoothed off the outline. Previously you were creating a 'staircase' look (with double outline pixels at the steps) which looks blocky. If you want to make nice curves, avoid staircases and find a single pixel line. I also smoothed the forehead, getting rid of that big square corner.

Try to create curves by altering the number of pixels per "step" slowly and in sequence. So a curve of 3,3,2,2,1,1,1,2,2,3,3 would look good, but 3,2,3,2,2,3,2,2,1,2,1 etc. will look jagged. If you see what I mean. Making right angle with 2 pixels per side will also look jagged. If you need that explained more, just ask.



There were a few issues with the head IMO. I've tried to address some of them here.

 - It was completely side-on. I rotated it a bit and smoothed it off (using the curve rules above) to give the impression it's looking round at you. It's for the drama, dahling.
 - The mouth was a bit small to create a decent expression. I made it a bit bigger and tried to give it a little bit of a sneer.
 - The rear ear was a completely different shape to the front ear. I changed the shape of both to make them match a bit more, based on the artwork above.
 - I added some shading around the face. Under the eye (shadow), and to the side of the eye (furrowed brow).
 - I added a little lighter red and white to the eye, to make it stand out. I added a pink to help here.

The rest was creating some clumps of fur around the back of the face. They should act as an outline to separate the head from the body, and also start giving the impression of fur. Some of the outlines are a bit thicker to start giving the impression of shadow.



I've roughly placed the new head on the body. I think hunched shoulders will look a bit more menacing and a bit less like a well trained dog. :)

I've smoothed out the front paw and the back a bit as well, using the same rules as above.



Here's a first go at some clumps of fur across the back. Pull out the fur, add a shadow underneath. There were a couple of changes to the head fur and a bit of shadow under the ear. I added a new shade for that.



Now I started adding in shadow, taking into account the shape of the parts of the animal. This is really rough, I was running out of time! Still, the belly shadow starts to sell the impression of clumps of fur more; the top doesn't look quite as much like it's made of chiseled wood. Notice the shadow between the claws on the front paw, adding more 3D information.

These are just some ideas, I hope you find them useful. If you haven't read it yet, the fox thread in the featured section goes into a lot of anatomy, which really helped with the shape of the overall animal. If this was my piece I'd be starting off by moulding the shape of the beast to make it more convincing.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 01:01:56 pm by daramon »

Offline Keops

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Re: thoughts on my kurama?

Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 02:01:29 pm
Nice edits Daramon! If I had the time I'd probably tackle the whole piece and see how far it goes. It's probably a good candidate for making an inseanely detailed/flowy animation too. Good stuff. Hope the OP sees this and learns from it. I still learn or reinforce what I know by helping others so it's win-win :)
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