AuthorTopic: Abandoned House - Critique Request  (Read 342 times)

Offline fighter_fish

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Abandoned House - Critique Request

on: August 24, 2020, 05:39:22 pm
I've learned a decent amount of pixel art and grafx2 while doing this piece.
It's by no means a masterpiece, so I would like some critiques from more experienced pixel artists.

Game Boy palette used: https://lospec.com/palette-list/nostalgia

Edit: Sorry, I meant to post an embedded image but had no idea how to:
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 01:33:58 am by fighter_fish »

Offline SeDiceBisonte

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Re: Abandoned House - Critique Request

Reply #1 on: August 26, 2020, 01:21:10 pm
I saw this on PixelJoint and thought it was a good "first" piece (I saw that you'd described it more as the first polished piece). I hadn't commented over there because I wanted to post some small crits.

There's a lot to like about this. I think some of the details you've put in there are really good. I particularly like the visible roof beams and the chainlink fence. The sofa and TV on the deck is also a nice detail that adds the feeling of a story to the image. These aren't just random items, but people live (or have lived) in this world.

This is a bit of a dirty edit because the main shadow is done with transparency, but that was because I'm not experienced enough to recolour all of the grass and ground texture. The other shadows should all be using the same palette though. I started using the transparency everywhere for speed, and then filled in the easier areas, so forgive me if some have slipped through.



I haven't touched much but I thought the scene would look more interesting with more dramatic lighting. I've moved the sun round to the top right so the shadow are cast into the scene and just worked from there. The house and the deck were shaded in your original image, but the blocks, sofa and TV were all looking flat. I also brought the shadows in at the edges of the roof beams just to suggest they were sitting below the tiles.

I wasn't sure about the light outlines around the TV and the sofa, so I made them consistent with the dark outlines elsewhere. I think that makes them look more a part of the scene.

As far as the edit goes, that's about it: a bit more depth and volume to the scene to make it pop a bit more.

Other things that I think would elevate it further are having a more distinct roof tile texture (at the moment, they're the same as the bricks only smaller) and tidying the grass up a bit. I don't have the expertise to advise you there, but it's currently a little noisy. I know it's possible to render unkempt, long grass in a more controlled fashion and that it's not very helpful to just say to do that, but that's the best I've got.  :( It would look nice to have a grass texture applied to the whole ground with the longer tufts coming out of it. You could also rough up the edges of the path that leads to the stairs to show nature encroaching.

Hopefully some of that is helpful, even if it's just seeing another person's thought process about the same piece. I'm looking forward to your next picture!

EDIT: Nearly forgot to say but, rather than uploading the image as an attachment, it's easier for us to view it if you host it elsewhere (Imgur is pretty much standard round these parts) because the forum has a built-in zoom function. Clicking zooms on and ctrl-clicking zooms out. You can embed an image by clicking the little Mona Lisa image when you're typing up a post and then pasting in the image location
« Last Edit: August 26, 2020, 01:24:28 pm by SeDiceBisonte »

Offline fighter_fish

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Re: Abandoned House - Critique Request

Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 01:23:49 am
Oh thank you for the critique!
I saw this late because I'm not used to pixelation's ui just yet.
I may have misunderstood how to post images on the forum, sorry!

I'll admit the shadows make the piece look very nice, but I decided not to use transparency as it would mean more than four colours, but I'll definitely experiment.
The sofa and tv have no shading because I wanted them to have different colours, but looking at your example makes a lot of sense.
I'm ashamed I forgot to add shadows for the fence.

I'll admit that the grass looks terrible, I'll just use tiling next time and see if I can add some tufts of wild grass.
I did want to show nature encroaching the pathway, but my lack of experience couldn't do it.
I'll post a retry maybe tomorrow, if I have time.

Offline SeDiceBisonte

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Re: Abandoned House - Critique Request

Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 07:58:54 am
I 100% agree about not using transparency. I only did because the only method I could think of to recolour the grass (literally switching each shade for a darker one) looks worse. The intention was for it to give a feel of what could be done despite my lack of knowledge of how to do the grass texture. Hopefully someone with some experience in texturing, tiling and isometric images will reply!

I don't think your original version particularly needed distinct shadows for the fence. To me, it looked like the sun was just below the 4 o'clock position on the image, so the fence posts would've been casting a shadow along the length of the fence. The ones closest to the house would've been covered by the building's shadow anyway. You could still keep the lighting direction the same but, since it's something I thought looked good as a feature, I changed it to make it more prominent.

It'll be good to see the next iteration of this!

Offline fighter_fish

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Re: Abandoned House - Critique Request

Reply #4 on: August 30, 2020, 08:34:59 am
Yeah I wish I didn't do the shadows at that angle... I prefer the way you did your shadows but it was too much of a hassle for me to redo the lighting for the house.

I've done a quick and dirty... quite frankly my skills need to improve for being able to draw grass properly.

The couch and TV where given shadows. They were initially flat, because I wanted them to look like they had different colours. However there's only so much you can do with the gameboy palette.

I'm treating this as a first piece and tossing it aside so I can move on to other things.
I don't think perfectionism will help me improve my skills much.
Thank you for the feedback!