AuthorTopic: [WIP] Need Help to Improve this Battle Background  (Read 1797 times)

Offline Sammy

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

[WIP] Need Help to Improve this Battle Background

on: February 01, 2021, 07:07:01 pm
Hey guys,
I made this battle background for a game. Any advice would be appreciated. I need to improve it!
(Haven't worked on the river at all yet)
The bottom space is where the character's status and info would go, so I left it blank for now.

Offline eliddell

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 52
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Need Help to Improve this Battle Background

Reply #1 on: February 01, 2021, 08:57:28 pm
Random points, in no particular order:

Your light source appears to be top-right, but the foliage of the trees (the nearer ones especially) doesn't reflect the "right" part very well.  Put more shadow on the bottom-left.

What's that spotted grey stripe just below the horizon supposed to be?  It looks like the side of a rock cut or gravel pit, sort of.

Shadowing on the cave-mouths of the mound things in the background is completely wrong for a top-right light source.  The one on the right especially should also cast some shadow.

The trunk of the largest tree on the far right doesn't work well for two reasons.  First, what I assume was meant to be bark texture looks more like the lines where someone glued the tree back together—if you want to try again, go for something more vertical.  Secondly, while there are a few kinds of trees where the branches stick out at right angles from the trunk, generic deciduous hardwoods like the ones you seem to be trying to depict aren't among them.  You want to have the branches either spread out from a crotch at a level near where the leaves begin, or have them angle up rather than curve.  I'd suggest searching for "winter tree photo" or similar to get an idea of what branch patterns in real trees look like.

I'm not sure those irregular stripes in the sky are a good idea.  I'd even them out and maybe even do some dithering or blending with single-pixel horizontal lines in alternating colours.

I'll ignore the river for the present since you say you haven't worked on it yet.

Hope that helps.
If anything I've said here has been useful to you, please pay it forward by critting someone else.

Offline Sammy

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Need Help to Improve this Battle Background

Reply #2 on: February 11, 2021, 09:10:07 pm
So here's the updated version based on @eliddell 's critiques:



What's that spotted grey stripe just below the horizon supposed to be?  It looks like the side of a rock cut or gravel pit, sort of.
: That's some cliffs in the very far distance.

Quote
Shadowing on the cave-mouths of the mound things in the background is completely wrong for a top-right light source. 
: I couldn't figure out what to do exactly to fix that unfortunately but I tried. Hope it's better this time  ???


Offline eliddell

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 52
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Need Help to Improve this Battle Background

Reply #3 on: February 12, 2021, 02:04:32 pm
Okay.  First of all, it now looks much better to me overall.  The cave on the left could still use a little more shadow inside (the one on the right is good, though).

Now.  Your cliffs.  If they're really far away, they should be affected by atmospheric perspective.  That means that there would be no details visible, and their colour should be shifted toward that of the sky.  Think of the furthest background layer in a fancy parallax scrolling game background:  it's really just a silhouette, right?  Like that.  Currently, the cliffs have too much detail and aren't at all bluish, so I interpret them as being behind the caves, but still only in the middle distance.
If anything I've said here has been useful to you, please pay it forward by critting someone else.

Offline Sammy

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Need Help to Improve this Battle Background

Reply #4 on: April 29, 2021, 09:00:32 pm
Thanks for your critiques eliddell. So this is the updated version. If anyone thinks it can be better, I'm looking forward to hearing about how to do it!  :)



Offline cels

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 371
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/32715.htm
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Need Help to Improve this Battle Background

Reply #5 on: April 30, 2021, 05:42:22 pm
Ok, here's a rapid fire list of constructive criticism. Just ignore anything that you don't care about / agree with.

1: It's weird that we can see individual grass blades half a mile away, but the closest grass is just a flat green surface with a few squiggly lines here and there.
2: The grass / plants near the river looks like thick aloe vera rather than thin blades of grass. Not sure if that was your intention.
3: I don't quite understand the way you've shaded these cavern holes, especially since the light is coming from above. The recesses wouldn't necessarily be dark, they'd just have stronger contours due to the curvature of the hill. Unless the light is coming from the side, there's nothing blocking the sunlight.
4: Your tree trunks look great and have three-dimensionality going on. They are bright at the center and dark on either side. I think you should use this principle for the tree foliage too. If you think of the trees as big green spheres, they would probably reflect more light at the center since it is closest, similar to the trunks (although the trunks are cylinders)
5: I assume the grass is WIP. If not, think about other ways to pixel chunks of grass. Look at other pixel art, for example.
6: The squirly lines you use to add texture on the grass don't actually tell my brain anything about shape or texture. They just seem random. They're not indicating light and shadows due to curves. If you're trying to think of ways to avoid a huge block of green colour, you could consider having a smooth transition between the nearest grass and the distant grass. The distant grass is pale and blue-ish due to atmospheric effect. Also, you could consider adjusting the texture so that grass chunks grow gradually smaller towards the horizon, indicating space and distance.
7: Same problem as above. The colors and shapes don't make sense to me.

I hope this helps. Hopefully others can step in if I've misspoke.

Offline SeinRuhe

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 78
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • @SeinRuhe
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/127850.htm
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Need Help to Improve this Battle Background

Reply #6 on: April 30, 2021, 06:16:44 pm
Well, my main concern is that it seems that you are trying to convey shapes instead of forms. Perfectly understandable if you are still walking an early path on your artistic journey. Change of color means a change of direction in the planes that makes an object, have this in mind when shading.

Try to look at real life references and pixel art references of what you are trying to draw and study them in depth. Be really picky with said references.

As Eliddell said, be consistent with your lightsource, the stones you added to the river have some really weird highlights, this should only go on the plane that reflects the most light from the lightsource to the viewer, there are stones that have highlights in the back ???

The foliage of the trees seems to be made out of blobs, feel free to check this post where Eliddell, Cels and I give some advice on how to do trees https://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=64404.0

The grass closest to the camera looks a bit too much like a kids drawing, the grass on the background cave looks like fur. Again, this can be solved by looking at photos and how other artist draw grass. It's different to draw something really close and really far, sometimes textures blend so well together that they just disappear when at distance.

Same for the dirt, it just doesn't strike as dirt.

Here are a couple of great examples from different artists that you may want to check out:

https://pixeljoint.com/pixelart/139029.htm
https://pixeljoint.com/pixelart/138678.htm
https://pixeljoint.com/pixelart/88198.htm
https://pixeljoint.com/pixelart/108972.htm
https://pixeljoint.com/pixelart/76346.htm

EDIT: Please listen to Cels, his quite good at making full background pieces.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 06:21:35 pm by SeinRuhe »

Offline Sammy

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Need Help to Improve this Battle Background

Reply #7 on: June 25, 2021, 09:00:51 pm
Thank you Cels and SeinRuhe. I edited the background based on your critiques.
Looking forward to hearing opinions, critiques, and suggestions.
P.S. light source is not straight from the top. It's top right (and kinda front)