AuthorTopic: Is it good to use other's palettes being a newbie?  (Read 1061 times)

Offline hexdump

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Is it good to use other's palettes being a newbie?

on: October 27, 2019, 09:19:26 pm
Hi,

I'm at the very start of my pixel art learning and as almost any newbie I'm struggling with rendering (color) really hard.

I use aseprite and there's a lot of palettes to choose from and I have tried to use some (For example Game boy one with just 4 colors) and I feel like it frees me of the burden of selecting right colors beside applying good form and shape to my sprite. But, on the hand I think this won't let me improve with color :/.

So, do you think it is a good thing to use pre-made palettes to try to create pixel art for a newbie? (At this stage I am just trying to pixel anything I find in 16x16. It doesn't matter if they are pieces from other pixel artists, still life or whatever).

Cheers!
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 09:21:24 pm by hexdump »

Offline eishiya

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Re: Is it good to use other's palettes being a newbie?

Reply #1 on: October 27, 2019, 11:28:39 pm
Yes and no.

Yes: Using others' palettes to free yourself from thinking about colour allows you to focus better on learning other aspects of pixel art. It can be overwhelming to tackle multiple things at once, so being able to not worry as much about colour is great! You can also take the time to analyse the palette and how you and other artists use the colours in various ways to teach yourself more about colour.

No: If you don't take the time to analyse palettes (others' and your own) and learn about colour, you'll never get good at colour. Experimenting with colour, applying what you learn of colour theory and discovering things you haven't yet learned via trying things out and making mistakes, these are important to learning.

So, while it's fine to rely on others' palettes for part of your learning process, make sure you do eventually take the time to learn to make your own. Not only will that allow you to make artwork that wouldn't work as well with existing palettes, but it will likely make you even better at using others' palettes.


Edit: Also, don't limit yourself to 16x16. In many ways, very small pieces like that are harder, as they require such levels of simplification that you're not likely to learn some pixel art and general art fundamentals. It's kind of like trying to draw by only drawing Peanuts-style cartoon characters xP Branch out to a wider variety of stuff, and that includes a greater variety of sizes. Small pieces are also harder for others to give you feedback on, as the small size often masks recurring mistakes/misunderstandings.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 11:31:02 pm by eishiya »

Offline hexdump

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Re: Is it good to use other's palettes being a newbie?

Reply #2 on: October 28, 2019, 09:11:01 am
Thanks for the insights.

I was expecting the answer about palettes but I am a bit shocked about the size one. I thouht I always read that small sizes was better for any starting pixel art artist :/. But, your points are very sensible too. Could you comment among what sizes should I be moving? What about between 16 and 48 pixel? Could it be a good exercise to try to reproduce something in different sizes? For example 16, 32 and 48?.

Again, thanks a lot for taking the time to help here.

Cheers.

Offline eishiya

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Re: Is it good to use other's palettes being a newbie?

Reply #3 on: October 28, 2019, 05:15:48 pm
Rather than focus on specific sizes, try a bunch of different ones, or maybe even try doing the same thing in multiple sizes, to see what the differences are, what compromises you have to make in each, what techniques work or won't work, and so on. For example, at 16x16, things like anti-aliasing typically become irrelevant, while at larger sizes they're more important. In addition, the way colours behave can change depending on the size. The smaller the area occupied by a colour, the more that colour has to contrast from its neighbouring colours to be noticeable as a distinct colour, and at smaller sizes, you're more likely to be dealing with small clusters.

Depending on your prior experience with art, starting large and gradually getting smaller can also help you gradually translate existing art skills into pixel art. If you have no experience, then working a bit larger will help you pick up more general art skills (light/form, composition, construction), which are just as important in pixel art as they are in other kinds of drawing/painting. At 16x16, you have to stylise so much that there's no room to learn the fundamentals.

People often recommend starting small because it's easier to achieve satisfactory results - as I mentioned, mistakes are much less obvious, as there are only so many ways to arrange so few pixels to look like the thing you're drawing. But, that same inflexibility gives you less room to figure out what works and doesn't work and why.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 05:18:19 pm by eishiya »

Offline hexdump

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Re: Is it good to use other's palettes being a newbie?

Reply #4 on: October 28, 2019, 05:45:12 pm
Understood. Thanks!.