AuthorTopic: [WIP] Hi, beginner here, I'm stuck dealing with grass in my scene.  (Read 520 times)

Offline Arieth

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Hi, I'm a bit of a newbie and I need help with a WIP scene I'm working on. I'm not sure how to draw grass here in a way it looks good. I've tried to do a more "uniform" and "tile-esque" style of grass, and also a more "flat colour" with some patches of grass distributed along the ground, but I'm not able to get a satisfying look. It's really frustrating!



« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 03:12:59 pm by Arieth »

Offline Mathias

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Bruh, at least post your image so people can easily see it without having to do extra work, c'mon now sonny. HEAD IN THE GAME.



Grass. The quintessential pixel artist's rite of passage.

GO find some reference you DOOFUS. Grass has been done to death.
Check out Slym's take on it:



Thus far, you're not drawing grass. You're just scattering around little leafy plants here and there.

See that repeated jagged edge texture everywhere? Kinda makes layers or waves. Try copying how Slym does it and see what you learn. Patches, clusters of grass. Subtle variations in value and hue.

You might start by taking your bands of vignette shadowing at your treeline and see if you can break up those perfectly smooth banding edges with a grassy looking texture. Right now, those perfectly smooth unbroken bands of shadow are telling us - 'hey this surface is completely smooth, no grass here'.

Do it. Don't make me end you.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 04:04:51 pm by Mathias »

Offline Arieth

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Bruh, at least post your image so people can easily see it without having to do extra work, c'mon now sonny. HEAD IN THE GAME.



Grass. The quintessential pixel artist's rite of passage.

GO find some reference you DOOFUS. Grass has been done to death.
Check out Slym's take on it:



Thus far, you're not drawing grass. You're just scattering around little leafy plants here and there.

See that repeated jagged edge texture everywhere? Kinda makes layers or waves. Try copying how Slym does it and see what you learn. Patches, clusters of grass. Subtle variations in value and hue.

You might start by taking your bands of vignette shadowing at your treeline and see if you can break up those perfectly smooth banding edges with a grassy looking texture. Right now, those perfectly smooth unbroken bands of shadow are telling us - 'hey this surface is completely smooth, no grass here'.

Do it. Don't make me end you.

Honestly I tried to post my image with the command but it kinda didn't work? Sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you for the advice! I'll update as soon as I do the grass and finish some animations.

Offline eishiya

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When posting images from an external host, make sure you use the URL of the image itself, not the webpage it's on. Then it'll work.

Offline Rydin

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Usually grass doesn't exist like that in the woods.
The forest floor is typically leaves and branches of brown or black with moss or grass patches sitting on top.



So start with a brown base.
Add lighter brown dead leaves.
Then grey stones sticking in the dirt.
Then add the green growing here and there on top of it all.
Man cannot remake himself without suffering for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

Offline Chonky Pixel

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Everyone's making good points, but there are a million and one ways to attack grass.

Honestly, with a cartoony style like this, I think areas of the same colour don't necessarily look too bad at all. Yes, you can break it up with patches of earth and variations in grass colour, and yes, where one shade meets another (or where grass meets another object, like a bush) you can add grass and leaf shapes to the edges to give more texture. And those things will help a lot. But you don't always have to fill every bit of the image with loads of texture.

You've got some hard shadows on your characters. Adding shadows to the plants in your grass might help too. Also, leaves have a crease from tip to stalk, so it looks more natural if you divide them vertically with shading, as opposed to horizontally like you do here.

Offline Arieth

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A small update here. I got two versions of the grass here, and I don't know which direction is better, so I'm posting both to see your opinions. Thank you all for your time!



Offline Chonky Pixel

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Despite what I said, the more grassy version looks more lush. Make sure whoever is developing this is OK with the multiple layers and complex shadow work you'd need to do. Looks like it could get hectic.

There might be a middle-ground between the two, I dunno.

So. Who has the time to put shadows under individual blades of grass?

Me, apparently. I've applied some simple shadows to grass in the middle section



And a little shading on one or two leaves. I just noticed that most of your light is coming from the opposite direction to my edits, because I'm an idiot. Still, it is what it is. If you like the effect you know what to do. If not, it still looks good. You've got a good aesthetic going on IMO.

Offline Rydin

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I prefer the less cluttered first one because it would be simple to implement into a game.
But, if you are just making a one time scene, the second intricate one is better.

Man cannot remake himself without suffering for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

Offline Chonky Pixel

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Pretty much.

Offline TPoe

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I don't know where the idea that this more detailed scene is more complex to implement into a game comes from. You literally just need to make shadow sprite, and one that goes in front of the player's feet to imply they're in deep grass. You don't need to shade every space to make sure wherever they're standing looks perfect with the blades of grass that are there. Where does that idea even come from?

Anyway the newer version looks good, I suggest for a next step you take what you learned with the grass and apply it to other areas in the scene, such as the bushes in the back. Right now they're looking pretty noisy. If you apply the techniques from the grass (simple shapes, hue variation etc.) you'll have a much more harmonious scene. Look forward to seeing your improvement.

Offline Rydin

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You don't need to shade every space to make sure wherever they're standing looks perfect with the blades of grass that are there. Where does that idea even come from?

I appreciate you for keeping me in check TPoe ;D I honestly need to be called out on my BS lol

Here's my angle:

If making a game for profit, one has to consider return on investment, diminishing returns, and just-noticeable differences.

Perhaps from a programming standpoint there is no tangible difference in workload between a sophisticated asset or a simple asset.

From the standpoint of time spent on the art, however, there is a difference. The typical player is going to have a threshold for what they notice. After a certain amount of detail it will take exponentially more time to make a noticeable difference the viewer will never notice. In other words, unless you're cooking a meal for chefs, nobody is going to notice anything extra unless it's missing or wrong. Finding that balance of just enough is key for efficiency. This is how the masters of the past did it. Just the right amount of pixels. Not a pixel more. Not a pixel less.

Less blades of grass = less time spent creating asset.
More blades of grass = more time spent creating asset.

When creating art for art's sake (this is my camp btw ;D) all of this conjecture is irrelevant. I'd argue catharsis is the highest purpose for this category. So time spent on an aesthetic piece becomes more of a measure of therapeutic dosage than an measure of economic viability.

Our time in this world is short. Will we use it to create art assets or art liabilities?


Arieth, what is your next step after this scene?  :crazy:
« Last Edit: April 27, 2020, 06:53:10 am by Rydin »
Man cannot remake himself without suffering for he is both the marble and the sculptor.