AuthorTopic: How to improve this piece?  (Read 383 times)

Offline Sen

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How to improve this piece?

on: May 20, 2020, 02:08:17 pm
Hi everyone,

I'm new to pixel art and I wonder how could I improve this piece and maybe improve in general. Eastward's art was my main inspiration.

« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 10:15:48 am by Sen »

Offline Chonky Pixel

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Re: How to improve this piece?

Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 11:30:52 am


Very very quick micro-edit!

Just a couple of ideas:

 - I tried to make the cables curl more naturally. Fewer kinks, and curling instead of hanging straight down.
 - I separated the shadow from the cables. This is an attempt to make them read better as shadows (instead of anti-aliasing) and it also gives a bit of height to the cables.

The other edits are pretty inconsequential. The wooden front of the desk, I tried to imply texture by adding it just at the ends instead of all the way across. It's a matter of taste though, you may want more.

Offline Sen

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Re: How to improve this piece?

Reply #2 on: May 25, 2020, 09:51:52 pm
Thank you so much for your critique! I found it very helpful. 
I didn't realize that the shadows could be read as anti-aliasing.
Implying texture is also something I'll try to keep in mind.

I applied your critique to my work and here are the results:

Offline Chonky Pixel

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Re: How to improve this piece?

Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 08:21:19 am
I'm glad you found it helpful.

I like your wood pattern better now.

I tend to go through curved items in my images and remove jaggies and hard corners, so you can see my cables are smoother and curvier. However, I probably go too far sometimes. If you want kinked cables, adding hard curves and jaggies will probably be how you do it. :)

It might be possible to follow the shape of the cables a little more with the shape of the shadows. If the cable kinks, the shadow probably will too. Bit it's a tiny nit-pick.

Offline Sen

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Re: How to improve this piece?

Reply #4 on: June 01, 2020, 08:28:31 pm
Thank you again for your critique! I've made the cables less curly and tried to do something about the shadows but to be completely honest I'm not sure what I'm exactly doing when adding them.

Offline cwkx

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Re: How to improve this piece?

Reply #5 on: June 01, 2020, 09:37:45 pm
optional suggestions for the shadows/highlights maybe:

- shadow dithering is love/hate, can be removed.. depends on the style
- also maybe a bit of anti-aliasing on the cables

Offline Joe

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Re: How to improve this piece?

Reply #6 on: June 01, 2020, 11:56:48 pm
Hi Sen, welcome to Pixelation.  :)

I did a quick edit on your piece to show how it can be made more readable. It was a mistake to separate the shadow from the cables, as it is a cast shadow, and therefore physically impossible to be separate unless you want to imply that the cables are floating above the desk! I suspected they are not, and you will be happy to know that whether the intention was to remove aliasing or to imply a shadow makes little difference in this case.

However the monitor noticeably lacks a cast shadow, even though it is the tallest object on the desk. I also found that the cables were too messy, to the point that they are distracting from the whole piece. And where are they all going, exactly? I plugged them into the wall. Another issue was proportion, the mouse and monitor too small in relation to the keyboard. I enlarged them a bit, but this monitor can definitely be larger still.



As for how to improve in general, study light and shadow around you. Pencil and sketchbook, just draw whatever catches your eye in your room or around your house, find the shadows on and around objects. Study their form. It does not have to be perfect. But with just the act of practicing you will come to learn how light works.