AuthorTopic: Tips for a better hair's shade  (Read 2444 times)

Offline tecnologgamer

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Tips for a better hair's shade

on: March 21, 2020, 11:19:44 am
Hello there

Recently I made these 10 hair, however I dislike someone because of the way I shade them, I find really complex and hard to do it. Look for many resources, but find hard to understand.

Offline Chonky Pixel

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 234
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • tequila_ben
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/187855.htm
    • https://www.facebook.com/chonkypixel/?modal=admin_todo_tour
    • View Profile
    • Chonky Pixel

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #1 on: March 21, 2020, 06:22:10 pm
The first thing I'd like to do is point you here:

https://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=42111.msg221389#msg221389

I responded to a different post regarding their line work. When drawing lines and curves there are a few rules that can make the difference between smooth and rough-looking pixel art. The rules about curves also apply to the edges of curved shapes. Try applying these techniques to strands of hair, things that you want to look rounded and so on.



Here I've tidied up some (not all) of your edges. I stopped the stray hairs from looping back on themselves because I think loose strands of hair like this look more like hair. (I can't put my finger on why, but the hair looping back didn't agree with me.)

This is one way of making convincing looking hair. It may not be exactly what you wanted for that face, but it's what you got.

(Also, the idea can be applied to different styles, like the one on the top-right.)

Find the natural curves in the hair, especially around the head. Work out where the light will glint against it and put highlights across there. You want a thin line of highlight, surrounded by a mid tone. Now pull short lines out of both shades, in the direction the hair is going. This gives the impression of the hair's texture.

There was a large area of one colour, so I made it a little more interesting by putting a shadow in, as if there was a clump of hair lifted from the rest.

Also I changed the palette, as the dark grey was getting lost against the black...

I might attack the other heads (or give a more curly effect to this one) over the next few days, as with the current virus lockdown I'll have some time on my hands.

I hope it's helpful!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 06:25:16 pm by Chonky Pixel »

Offline dpixel

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 303
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/20306.htm
    • View Profile

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #2 on: March 22, 2020, 05:10:06 am
Just my 2 cents, but these look very good.  Looks like you have the right idea as far as your clusters go.

Offline Chonky Pixel

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 234
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • tequila_ben
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/187855.htm
    • https://www.facebook.com/chonkypixel/?modal=admin_todo_tour
    • View Profile
    • Chonky Pixel

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #3 on: March 22, 2020, 06:04:23 pm
I agree that the hair is generally on the right track. Some clusters need tightening up though, more work needs to go into the shading, the line work needs cleaning up, and for some of the styles it needs some texture added.

This looks to me like a first rough draft before the task of cleaning up and adding detail.

Offline tecnologgamer

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #4 on: March 23, 2020, 07:41:41 pm
Hi there!

Sorry to late for respond, I follow the tip about the lines, so I try to design a hair following the flow of the hair, however I keep my design because I belive is more prettier and I would like to keep it.

« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 07:45:31 pm by tecnologgamer »

Offline Chonky Pixel

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 234
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • tequila_ben
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/187855.htm
    • https://www.facebook.com/chonkypixel/?modal=admin_todo_tour
    • View Profile
    • Chonky Pixel

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #5 on: March 23, 2020, 08:38:58 pm
This looks better to me, I think you're very close to a great result.

I like that you've kept your original style.

The line-work is much improved. Good work.

I like the fact that the hair has more shading and detail.

The next step is to make your clusters look... Well, nicer. There are cluster shapes that look pleasant, and shapes that look... well, ugly, bitty, angular. Sometimes you will need those shapes, but this is pretty hair. It's all about the curves.

If you see an "L" shape, get rid of it. If you see a "T" shape, get rid of it. If you see a hard, straight line, get rid of it. If you see a single pixel by itself, get rid of it. Replace all these things with clusters that give you curves, and make sure these curves follow the lines of the hair.



This a quick attempt to smooth some of those cluster shapes, and also to push one or two lines of shading to the side of the clumps of hair that would be catching the light.

You may disagree with me about which types of clusters look good, or exactly how you want her hair to flow, but think of it like this:

If you're really zoomed in, it should look nice.

If you're really zoomed out, it should look nice.

If you find that it looks great when zoomed out but a bit random or scribbly when zoomed in, try smoothing out your clusters.

Offline tecnologgamer

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #6 on: March 23, 2020, 08:44:51 pm
I see what you mean, thank you! I will try it in all my hairs!

Offline Marie Taylor

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #7 on: April 01, 2020, 05:14:06 pm

I found the colors to be uninteresting and so I swapped them for more dynamic colors whether you feel the same tends to mostly be a matter of preference, ultimately I've gone in rather quickly and in a sketchy way to try and get across the advice I think you're looking for, and I think the more varied colors push the piece in a better direction.

I'll give some notes on why I changed what I did. Keep in mind that most of art is intuition, there are no rules, only what works. Even what I've done I can clearly see areas where it lacks and could be improved or maybe areas where I am wrong. Take what helps you from my advice and ignore the rest.
-Stray hairs generally follow the trend of the rest of the hair, only displaced, so I've brought them more in line.
-I've darkened the background to a more neutral tone in order to better show off the piece. In most cases a 50% light/dark background will best show off your pixel art and is a good general choice.
-I've added highlights to give a better sense of form and contrast.
-I've separated the hair into smaller, flowing, often overlapping chunks. I think this is the most important piece of advice you could take away from my edit: hair is messy, somewhat random, but adhering to a gravity based pattern. Locks of hair are falling, getting tangled, overlapping, twining, etc. Even with straightened hair you will see areas of overlap and twist.
-I've added interest to the silhouette of the hair by pulling it in places, flattening it, indenting it, basically not allowing it to be a perfectly smooth shape. Specifically I've pulled it in over the right shoulder, flattened it on the left side of the head, and indented at the part of the hair.
(Example of the silhouette difference)
-For the skin, I've darkened the areas where skin meets hair, and kept skin light where it overlaps hair. Also when hair overhangs the skin like with the bangs the shadow tends to be displaced, so you also benefit from not darkening the skin there, though in this case I was doing a quick pass and did not add in the drop shadow.
-I've somewhat disrupted the line of the left shoulder with the hair overlapping to give a more dynamic feeling overall. When I say dynamic feeling, I mean it feels like the hair has a 3D position, rather than being a 2D sticker located on or behind the body. On this topic I would say that you're probably further along than you think with understanding hair as most of your pieces have a very good 3D sense if lacking somewhat in other areas mentioned.

Now I am speaking to Chonky Pixel. I understand that you've not opened this thread wanting to be critiqued, but by giving critique you are opening yourself to the conversation.
I find your advice quite troubling, in that it showcases a general lack of understanding. In both cases of your modification, you've cheapened the overall shape by failing to see it and instead faulting the 2D shapes which create it. The L is not just an L, it is part of a community of shapes. What you may be seeing as problematic with the L or T shape is a problem of integration not something as banal as shape choice. To prove this, I've not only kept the L in my edit, but added a few more.

To quote you:
Quote
I agree that the hair is generally on the right track. Some clusters need tightening up though, more work needs to go into the shading, the line work needs cleaning up, and for some of the styles it needs some texture added.

I honestly find this insulting, and while I can't claim to know your thoughts behind writing it, it comes off more as aggression than critique, a laundry list of vague and useless points without actual solutions that appear meant only to put down the original artist, who frankly has a better grasp of 3D objects than you do. Critique is meant for learning, both for the critic and the critiqued, not for the chance to insult someone who has made themselves vulnerable by putting their work on the line. Please open your mind to the idea that the person you are critiquing may understand certain subjects better than you do.

To go in further, the idea that something needs to look good close up and good far away is absolute nonsense, and I don't know where you got the idea from. I'll give you an example. This is a boss portrait from Final Fantasy Tactics, zoomed in.
https://gyazo.com/4b362dad4717d0912b6e3b4fd1c20671
And this is the full piece.
https://gyazo.com/77db029e3faa411a6a92480d23e49439
You can see that it is not a matter of individual shapes or pixels, but a matter of cohesion. Zoomed in all the way it looks like soup. Zoom out, at the resolution it was meant to be seen, and you start to see the communication between shape and color that can be missed so close.

While I found your critique insulting to the original author, I want to be clear that I'm not attacking you as a person but your critique, and I do hope you continue to critique, just in a more open and honest way, rather than giving with utter confidence rules for how a person should go about their creativity, and insults thinly veiled as critique.

I'll leave for tecnologgamer some other examples of pixel artists drawing hair in different styles that I think might be helpful.

(A portrait by me, also an example of a bright background working to highlight the piece)


(Various portraits from Final Fantasy Tactics)


(Various portraits from Disgaea)


(Various portraits from Advance Wars: Dual Strike)


(An example of an entirely different way to do hair unfortunately I don't know the artist)

Offline tecnologgamer

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #8 on: April 02, 2020, 04:54:35 pm
I see
 
I'm making a reshade of all hair I will post soon.

Offline Chonky Pixel

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 234
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • tequila_ben
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/187855.htm
    • https://www.facebook.com/chonkypixel/?modal=admin_todo_tour
    • View Profile
    • Chonky Pixel

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #9 on: April 02, 2020, 10:35:14 pm
Please open your mind to the idea that the person you are critiquing may understand certain subjects better than you do.

You make a very good point. While my hope is that I can help with things I believe I understand more, I need to be aware that I can hinder in areas I understand less. And while I hope that I can give friendly advice, I should be careful not to strike an aggressive, insulting or overconfident tone. Words matter, and I will consider yours very carefully.

I do think most of your hair examples look absolutely great close up though!

Offline tecnologgamer

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #10 on: April 03, 2020, 02:55:32 pm
I remade few of my hair examples and I think they get better, except the last one that it's really messy and I personally hate, it's awful for me because it's blond hair and I can't managed how to shade a full straight hair like this.



This is'nt the original reference (I lost all), but it near what I want to do.


Offline Chonky Pixel

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 234
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • tequila_ben
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/187855.htm
    • https://www.facebook.com/chonkypixel/?modal=admin_todo_tour
    • View Profile
    • Chonky Pixel

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #11 on: April 05, 2020, 12:05:08 pm
I think your top one is looking great!

The middle one is showing a lot of improvement from the version on the left, adding shape and shading and removing those hard lines. However, as my ham-fisted attempts to promote the reduction of noise, good cluster work and good line work have been (probably quite fairly) called into question, I'll point you at this resource and humbly request that you search-in-page for "noise" and "clusters": http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11299

With the bottom one, I think you are right in that you're moving away from representing the style of hair you want to. The version on the left actually seems closer to the reference than the one on the right.

To be fair, you've started in a direction that gives the hair a lot of shape, detail, volume and shading. You've lost the smooth feel though, and the reference image looks smooth.

I can tell you how I would approach it, and that would be similar to my first responses - just a further refinement of the process you started on the left. But saying that, at this point, it's difficult to say "x technique will be objectively better" because I'm not sure how you want your final result to look. Do you have examples of pixel artists with styles you want to get closer to? If so, some analysis from someone who isn't as close to your work may bring up some pointers to help you achieve it.

Offline dpixel

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 303
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/20306.htm
    • View Profile

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #12 on: April 08, 2020, 05:41:55 am
I can suggest try to avoid using single pixels.  It can look too busy real fast.
Think of locks of hair rather than strands at this size
The bottom-left one looks best imo.  It has better shapes and volumes.

For me, I need to think of the image as a whole, so I need some facial features to put it together.
I would tend to do something this:

Offline tecnologgamer

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #13 on: April 11, 2020, 05:25:48 pm
Hey guys, I'm late, i just give about the the hair that I could afford and reshade the I could. But, as far I see in hair references the light can be stronger or more weak depend of hair shape, straight hair like the above example here @dpixel made the good favor to do it, the lights in real world would work different because the hair lines are more individual while other hears like curvy have more concetrated hair and receive more lights. Well, this is just a theory mine.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 05:49:32 pm by tecnologgamer »

Offline Chonky Pixel

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 234
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • tequila_ben
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/187855.htm
    • https://www.facebook.com/chonkypixel/?modal=admin_todo_tour
    • View Profile
    • Chonky Pixel

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #14 on: April 11, 2020, 07:45:18 pm
I may look more closely at the styles later, if you're interested, but what I am thinking right now is:

Why isn't any of the hair casting a shadow?

I know that you don't want to draw the faces, but the shadow that the hair casts gives it more 3D information. Volume. Implied shape.

Where you put your shadow can tell the viewer if hair is jutting out or flush against the head.

If you add some shadows you might see a big improvement in the realism of your hair.

Offline tecnologgamer

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #15 on: April 11, 2020, 08:32:47 pm
Oh, okay!

Offline Chonky Pixel

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 234
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • tequila_ben
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/187855.htm
    • https://www.facebook.com/chonkypixel/?modal=admin_todo_tour
    • View Profile
    • Chonky Pixel

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #16 on: April 12, 2020, 03:28:34 pm
I think the shadows are mainly looking great. And the act of adding them has given a lot more depth to the images.

The rightmost shadow on the second row might be a bit big. To me the face looks concave, as if it goes inwards rather than outwards. Should be an easy fix.

Based on one of the examples posted by Marie Taylor, I thought I would show you a possible process for achieving a smooth style. I am nowhere near as good as the people who made those examples, so just I hope you can find something in here that helps. I want to share a few ideas, and images are a better way to do that.



Time is limited, so I'm only going to work on the two clumps in the top-right. I often start by using block colours for different chunks of the image. This style uses outlines, so I'm leaving them in.



Here I've tried to clean up a lot of the line-work. I've eliminated the hard corners I could find, turning them into curves. I've also eliminated all the jaggies I could see. I believe I already shared the Pixel Joint pixel-art primer with you, which I think covers line work, curves and jaggies. If you want me to go into greater detail about this process, ask. :)

I've put a flick in the hair. You may not like this - but I would expect you to approach shape and shading differently to me anyway.



I've thickened the lower part of the dividing line between the two clumps, and removed the top. The lower part represents shadow, and the lack of line at the top shows that the two clumps join further up to make one surface.



My wife didn't like the blank faces, so I put in some features. : )

I've added some lighter shade, and darkened the bottom of the clump at the back. There's a brighter line extending from the top of the split between clumps, to represent (I assume) the light catching the edge of the clump.



I found I didn't have much room to work with. I would have liked to create a smoother effect using clusters, but I didn't have the space. I used anti-aliasing instead. I also pulled a little bit of the darker area from the parting into the main body of the hair, to add to the texture.

What I'm trying to do is "suggest" the hairy texture and hair clump shape by following the direction of the hair with my clusters, shapes and lines of shading. I don't want to follow a single hair all the way down in the same colour. To me, doing that breaks the shading and makes the whole image look more flat.

With a bit more space I could put one or more gaps in the line, and the effect would still work. I probably could at this size, too.

I also moved some of the shading, as I didn't like the original position.



Just some final tidying up, removing some subtle jaggies, and a little change to the highlight on the hair flick. I thought breaking it up like this might make it look a bit more hair-like.

I could go on, but I've covered the ideas I wanted to convey. If you find anything in there useful, I'm glad. If you don't like this direction, then it was a fun exercise anyway. : )

Offline tecnologgamer

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Tips for a better hair's shade

Reply #17 on: April 12, 2020, 06:10:18 pm
It's really good, thanks for help.

I want to thank everyone that have the patience to teach me well, I need to read to assimilate everthing that you guys told me, but I pretend to learn more.

Special thanks for @Marie Taylor because he revive this topic.