AuthorTopic: Suggested challenges for practice?  (Read 3061 times)

Offline Sharm

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 243
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Suggested challenges for practice?

on: December 16, 2007, 11:25:06 pm
I found this place because I thought the challenges would be great practice to get better as a pixel artist, and since then I've been wondering.  If you're new to the pixel thing (or very old at it, but never serious before now like me), what would be a good learning curve of challenges to make you grow as an artist?  Would you suggest starting with?  Limited color scenes, a mockup, a walk cycle, rpg tiles, icons?  What are you trying to master with these practices?  For you professionals, how did you do it, and how would you do it now if you could do it over?  Once you master something like a walk cycle, what's the next step?  A run cycle, or perhaps flight for something different?

I have my own ideas about this, but I've learned since coming here that I'm not as good at this as I thought, and have a long way to go.  I'd love to hear other people's opinions.

Offline junkboy

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 270
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • jnkboy
    • jnkboy
    • View Profile

Re: Suggested challenges for practice?

Reply #1 on: December 17, 2007, 01:46:34 am
Why don't you try doing each of the challenges in the Pixelator contest? I think they are pretty solid and cover a lot of ground.

Offline Sharm

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 243
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Suggested challenges for practice?

Reply #2 on: December 17, 2007, 03:02:46 am
I do those challenges when I can.  Hm, it seems I didn't explain myself very well, let me try again.  I'm thinking of something like a workbook for pixels, each challenge taking you one step closer to learning what you'd need to be... a video game artist, I guess.  For example, I can do a walk animation, but where do I go from there to be well rounded as a sprite animator?  Is that making any more sense?

Offline Sherman Gill

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 995
  • Karma: +0/-1
    • View Profile

Re: Suggested challenges for practice?

Reply #3 on: December 17, 2007, 03:49:57 am
Almost anything you do will make you better, so there's not too much of a need for such a guide.
Though, if you really need guidance, practice the most common things in games:
Run cycles, tiles, attack animations, etc.
Once you get the animations down, you could move on to trying different things with 'em, like making a character with longer than average legs or just trying to show emotions through their strut.
Oh yes naked women are beautiful
But I like shrimps more haha ;)

Offline Rosse

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 182
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • ssero
    • bluecrystalrod
    • View Profile

Re: Suggested challenges for practice?

Reply #4 on: December 17, 2007, 07:12:27 am
>Sharm
I tried to find some pixelart pieces from you, but I found just one single piece (in this board). So please forgive me if I underestimate you.
I think to be a decent pixel artist, you should be a decent general artist. Something similar belongs to animation: "If you can't draw - forget it. You're an actor without arms and legs" (quote from "the animator's survival kit", richard williams).
This probably means, that you have to know the basics. And when you master those (which takes a lifetime), you can start thinking about what you want to do and then you just apply the basics like secound nature.
Sorry for this small excursion, but I think it explains, why I'm thinking, many "pixel"artists could be better, just if they would know the (traditional) basics better. So I ask you, do you think you could draw/paint a decent picture? If not, then you should learn the basics better first. Perspective, Proportions, Values, Colors, in this order (some might disagree). And if you want to be an animator, the same stuff has to be learned as well.
So, if you master the basics (or lets say, you know them how to use), in pixelart you have a set of techniques. I think the main aspects are:
- color conservation (palette unifying, tinting)
- antialiasing
- buffering / blending
- dither
I think most of the "pixel"critics here in this board belongs to these aspects. So these should be learned. I know, if you create animations and tiles, more and maybe other aspects have to be applied, but I have no experience in doing them, so please forgive me. And to learn these techniques mentioned above, you have to practice. Post the pictures here and get critique - study the work posted here (with the above mentioned) and give critique and even better, make edits and learn the theory in practice.

Sorry if I overshoot the mark (uhm, sorry, but the dictionary uses this term ("uebers ziel hinausschiessen" in german)). If I haven't answered what you asked for, I hope you and others find at least a small bit of useful information.

keep pushing

Offline Sharm

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 243
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Suggested challenges for practice?

Reply #5 on: December 17, 2007, 04:21:23 pm
Thank you for trying to help.  I suppose to get what I really want I'll have to think hard and make this list myself.  That's the way of things I guess.   :)

@Sherman Gill:  You're probably right.  When I started this thread, I thought that it might be useful to more people, but I suppose I'm the only one that wants a more structured line of study.  If I ever get to where I'd like to be, I'm going to make a tutorial though.   ;)

@Rossie:  Yeah, I have more than that here, but I think I only have um... 3 or 4, so I'm not surprised you didn't find much.  I'm working on the traditional art as well, and I understand how much that translates.  It could be my imagination, but it seems that there's a bit more involved in making good pixel art.  Things like making it obvious what something is on a small scale, subpixeling (which makes sense in my head, but I've never managed to do), or making sure your characters pop from the background.  Some of these things use knowledge from traditional art, but are applied in a unique way in the pixel world.  Besides, I think it's sometimes fine to learn things in the pixel world first.  I didn't get hue shifts at all until I did them in pixel.  Thank you for your list of pixel techniques, I knew most of them, but it's nice to have them in one place.