AuthorTopic: Clouds and purple  (Read 1988 times)

Offline cels

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Re: Clouds and purple

Reply #10 on: April 04, 2021, 11:51:32 pm
Once again, thanks to everyone for taking the time to help me! Without Pixelation, I would still be using the MS Paint spray tool to draw clouds.

 

What's new?
- Tried to improve on the tree bark, borrowing from fskn.
- Tried to improve on the robes, stealing the swishy robes of fskn and the SFW-robes by SeinRuhe
- Tried to improve clodus in foreground (now with 50% more wispiness) and background (copied fskn, got rid of those warm purples that didn't belong)

I'm a slow learner, so sorry if I missed / ignored some good advice here.

@SeinRuhe:
- I totally take your point about the character design. In the future, I will steal your idea because I love the way you repainted him/her. However, for this particular piece, I want to add a little bit of detail to the character just to make the eye linger for a little bit, so I think I need something like exposed pouches, belts, weapons or something like that to keep it interesting. And I feel like more folded robes give the eyes more details to chew on as well. If I had a more eye-catching background, I think I'd swap to a simpler character design.
- Thanks for the tip, I will check out aseprite! It seems all the cool kids are using it on PJ Discord.  ;D

@eliddell:
- I see what you did with the clouds and I understand it, but I can't help but feel that it helps if the clouds are hugging the terrain more (like water or like this) to make it easier to read the clouds as a 'foggy ocean' rather than a collection of big clouds that aren't really touching the mountains. I actually started out with the approach you took, then I tried to make the clouds hug the terrain a bit more. However, there are probably better ways I could have done it. I don't think it's problematic that the clouds are almost at the level of the buildings, but I could be wrong.
- I agree with you that my zeppelin has readability issues. However, I think shining lights would attract too much attention to something that is supposed to be a nifty detail and might look too modern / steampunk for a fantasy setting. Maybe I'm being stubborn, I will think about whether my zeppelin needs to have better readability.  :-[

@fskn:
- Wow, 4 edits! Thanks! I've tried to adjust the clouds according to the version that looked best to me. I don't think I have the skills to have layers of clouds on top of each other or a partially concealed zeppelin. I'm not that good of a pixel pusher.
- Adding a fin to a zeppelin totally makes sense, however... as I understand it, fins don't actually do anything unless your zeppelin has some sort of propulsion, like a propeller. With this being fantasy sans steampunk, the zeppelin has no propulsion. That means it can only actually steer by changing its altitude and trying to hit a wind that blows it in the right direction. So why not simply have a sphere shape instead? Well... because... I don't know! I haven't worked that out yet.

---
EDIT:

Do you guys think it's realistic to have a cool looking diamond pattern? Or would it look dumb at this size, or even detract from the overall impression by simply adding a pointless distraction?

« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 12:16:30 am by cels »

Offline eliddell

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Re: Clouds and purple

Reply #11 on: April 05, 2021, 04:06:53 pm
Actually, propellers aren't impossible with medieval tech—you just have to make them muscle-powered.  So inside the dirigible, there are a bunch of sweaty slaves (or dogs or goats) running on a treadmill to get the propellers to turn fast enough to give the thing steering way, and a power train made from pulleys, leather belts, and the big wooden peg-gears you see in windmills to transmit the energy along.  Another possibility is that it's effectively on rails, guided by a rope or wire strung between two high points.  The hydrogen to inflate the gas bag is slightly more of a stretch, but not too much of one:  oil of vitriol (AKA sulfuric acid, known at least from the 13th century) + salt + a metal spoon + some bright young alchemist willing to investigate the results.

I do think that if the dirigible is important enough to be in the picture, it's important enough that you don't want people to mistake it for a floating rock, as I initially did. ;)

As for the clouds . . .  I think you said in the thread with the wisent caravan pic that these were illustrations for some larger, combined work?  It's possible that the clouds won't ever be unambiguously interpretable without the context the larger work would provide unless you compromise your vision a bit.  It all depends on what you think is most important, I guess.

The diamond pattern could work, but not in that colour, I think.  It needs to fall in line better with the rest of the palette.
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Offline cels

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Re: Clouds and purple

Reply #12 on: April 05, 2021, 05:17:58 pm
You had me at goat-powered dirigibles! I think it's easy to handwave the lift, whether it's hot air or a gas bag. To handwave muscle-powered propellers is more of a stretch. Hm, there's a joke to be made there, but I'm too tired. I don't know. Maybe I'll end up reluctantly having some steampunk for the sake of having functional airships that aren't simply hot air balloons. And I take your point about readability.

In regards to the clouds, I'm definitely not opposed to having them clearly identifiable as clouds. I hope I didn't give that impression. I guess I'm just struggling because it's an unusual perspective, it's at night (with high contrast due to a full moon), it's a relatively small canvas and on top of that everything is inexplicably purple. So it's a combination of low skill level, weird impulses and picking unhelpful parameters, I guess.  :(

And even with a photograph, it can be a bit tricky to know what you're looking at without context. In this photo, I don't know that it's immediately obvious that the bottom half is clouds. The sunlight and the way the clouds hug the mountains kind of help, but it's still a bit weird.


But enough excuses! Thanks for the feedback! I'll drop the diamond pattern, it's too difficult and unnecessary.  ;D

Offline fskn

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Re: Clouds and purple

Reply #13 on: April 05, 2021, 06:56:17 pm
Hm, yeah. They kind of read as being "white", maybe because of the little bit of sunlight, or just because of the relative value of the "fluffier" parts of the picture in comparison with the darker mountains.

I was thinking if it would be possible to show some of those clouds being dragged by the airship as it moves, and/or a trail behind it. That would read more as something fluid rather than, say, the top of trees. But having worked a bit on it thinking "clouds" as I was placing pixels around, I "can't not" read them as clouds anymore. They're clouds for me now.
Same goes for the airship. It's not some weird thing/rock/ovni floating there, it's an airship.

You did a great job with the robes now. It looks very, very nice indeed.
I just think that some of the light that goes over the part that covers the shoulders, wouldn't be there because the sleeve of the arm that's holding the lantern would (possibly?) block it.
Maybe the face too, now that I think of it, unless it's some light that's being bounced off from the tree. If that's the case, it would reflect onto the top of the lantern/ring too...

As for the pattern, I do like it as a concept, though maybe it's a bit too busy and the colors should (?) be closer in hue to that of the rest of the robe, because it's at night, and the only two lights that are there are very strongly colored.
I thiiiink.

But I don't know. It may look very cool...
Maybe try and make the sleeves seem white, and have a pattern that's a bit subtler as to not impair our perception of what those things are...
Or not even white, but some more contrasty color in comparison to the rest of the robe. Just to separate those some.

EDIT: That would make me think different things from what I'm thinking now, that that's a misterious figure investigating or just lurking in the dark. It wouldn't look as "stealthy", if that makes sense.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 07:08:39 pm by fskn »

Offline eliddell

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Re: Clouds and purple

Reply #14 on: April 05, 2021, 08:39:35 pm
Seriously, muscle-powered propellers do have some history in the real world, but it's with early submarines rather than dirigibles.

The clouds in the photo could possibly be rolling surf, but not treetops.  I think fskn is right about them being more readable because of value contrast.

Anyway, the figure in the foreground looks better now than in the original version of the picture, including the mask reading more clearly as a mask.

(And if you think your skill level is low, wait until I actually get around to posting the state of my current (game) project.  I expect plenty of laughter will ensue.)
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Offline cels

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Re: Clouds and purple

Reply #15 on: April 05, 2021, 09:54:21 pm
Thanks for your help, guys! I'll make some last changes and then start my next pixel piece, number 7 of 8. And then I'm taking a break from castles and clouds for a while!  :lol:

You've been awesome. Sorry if I've been too stubborn and pig headed about certain things.

I'm really happy to see more activity on the forum these days and I hope you guys get around to posting your current projects as quickly as possible, so I can (hopefully) try to reciprocate. ;D

Offline fskn

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Re: Clouds and purple

Reply #16 on: April 06, 2021, 03:40:27 am
Sorry if I've been too stubborn and pig headed about certain things.
Don't worry. In the end, this is YOUR piece. You do it however you think it's best. We're just giving suggestions here.