AuthorTopic: Lizardman - please critique  (Read 2623 times)

Offline spajjder

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Lizardman - please critique

on: May 22, 2021, 09:09:12 pm
Hello

Here I am again going after a too big sprite. I would really appreciate if you spot something that look off.
Are the lights and shapes looking ok? I am especially confused about the back hand and the right foot of the creature.

Also, how would you go about adding on a scale design as this is supposed to be some sort of croc man?

Thank you in advance!



Offline fskn

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Re: Lizardman - please critique

Reply #1 on: May 22, 2021, 10:18:48 pm
It looks pretty great. I'd only do some minor changes, smoothing things out here and there... Avoiding tiny gaps in between those claws, having stronger shadows to emphasize form... But it's all a matter of personal preference, I think.



I believe the rest looks fine.



Oh, I see a problem with its left hand now:

« Last Edit: May 22, 2021, 10:55:16 pm by fskn »

Offline cels

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Re: Lizardman - please critique

Reply #2 on: May 22, 2021, 10:56:41 pm
fskn's edit is good.  :)

Personally, I feel that it's a bit odd to have the furthest hand darkened to indicate distance (because i don't see how it would be in shadow) and not do the same with the furthest leg. I know that the torso is twisting, but still.
I would also suggest that you try to reduce noise and gather clusters in a way that accentuates its crocodile scales. Use lines that wrap around the shapes, curving different ways depending on the angle. This will both help establish texture, form and three-dimensionality.
I'm also wondering if you really want/need those sharp outlines on everything. It's kind of hard to give the spikes proper shading with dark outlines. Fskn's edit helps, but the dark edges on the bright spikes kind of hide the light source instead of indicating it properly. At least in my eyes.

Take my opinion with a line of salt.



Forgive the crappy edit, made in haste. I hope it is enough to get the point across.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 12:29:58 am by cels »

Offline SeinRuhe

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Re: Lizardman - please critique

Reply #3 on: May 23, 2021, 03:09:58 am
Either I'm getting really slow or you guys are getting really fast giving advice :blind:

So, Spajjder, I like your lizardman design, I also like the pose a lot for some reason, looks sassy in a good way.

As for critique, I would make some edits here and there:

- Before everything, I can't stress this enough but be really mindful of your lightsource and what planes look directly at it since this is what determines value changes!

- I may be miss reading this but the hand on our right seems to have 5 fingers instead of 4 like the one on our left. (Edit: Fskn already pointed this lol)

- Anatomy on the shoulders/collarbone seems a bit funky, reference some humans and lizards for this, animals share a lot in common and depicting this subtleties right should improve your work substantially.

- This is personal preference and is not a rule, rather a tool, but if you have cold shadows, light may look better warm. Of course color is relative so in case you decide to pick this advice, just make the color of the light feel warmer, no need to make it yellow or red.

- Texturing is really hard in my opinion, so try to focus first on the big shapes. If your work looks cohesive only shading the basic stuff chances are that texture will look great on it.

Here's an example on textures that I always loved and it happens to have scales too https://twitter.com/ichi_et/status/676402249300488194

And here's my pseudo edit, it has zero cleanup so careful



PD: I may revisit this with a bit more time next week, also did a Lizardman a couple years back that needs revision so your piece is the ideal testing ground :D

Offline bengo

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Re: Lizardman - please critique

Reply #4 on: May 23, 2021, 04:49:37 am
Cool looking lizard dude! I think you need to be careful about prioritizing detail over form, form always comes first. For my edit I tried to make sure the largest forms read and I also tried to fix up the anatomy. Like SeinRuhe said try to think about where your light source is and stick to it. It might even help to a light a sphere to the side as a reference. For me I picked a different position than him coming more from the top rightish (from our POV). I threw in some reflected light to give a better sense of form. I gave his back arm and back leg less contrast as a design decision I felt it helped him read better.

I'd recommend trying to add detail mainly at the transition from light to shadow (https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f2/64/17/f26417ece2ad240d0f3c517b157e844c.jpg). This is the place you'll typically see detail but, like I said, I highly recommend making sure form reads. Don't forgo form for detail.

I know he's technically not human but he is some sort of lizard/reptile-human hybrid and anatomy will help add some believability to your character. If you want to get more into anatomy there is a book by Michael Hampton or you can check out Proko's series on anatomy.

The Edit:


Anatomy Breakdown: https://i.imgur.com/iqMW34r.jpg


Proko showing what to think of when drawing and shading form. Primary should show through to secondary and tertiary always.

Offline spajjder

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Re: Lizardman - please critique

Reply #5 on: May 23, 2021, 07:00:54 am
Hi!

I really love all of your redesigns! I went to bed and woke up with this, so nice! Thank you guys so much.
I´m happy I got so many different designs to look at, and I feel like I want to implement things from all. I will repost once I´ve done some edits, but I do not work as fast as you do I am afraid :D

I got some really good reference for anatomy, and for scales. Is it a bad idea to try to get across both? I´m thinking maybe i can only do some scaling details in the areas that are lit up, as details such as those are less noticeable in shadows?

fskin - I agree on the contrast, gonna try add more of it, and try to collect some clutter into clusters. Very helpful gif to see the difference there. I wonder why the green pixels on the underside of the spikes? And yes, the left hand has too many fingers :) Good find. thank you!

cels - thank you for advice - the texturing tips are good. I tried adding sort of a wire frame with a multiply layer, but it looked very cluttery. This way is much nicer. As for the legs, I see mine are a bit cluttery, I tried to get across some sort of texture, but I wasn´t sure what I was doing. However, the big high light on the knee looks a little big to me. I sometimes try cut these up in the way I did on the shoulder, but not sure what gives a better effect. Is it generally better to stick to big, more simple shapes in terms of lights like those?
For the back leg and hand.. would it also work to lighten up the back hand?  You are right about the imbalance currently :D

SeinRuhe - I was really happy to see this much response :)
I would love to see your lizard from the past!  and feel welcome to do your own take on this one for sure!
So about lights. That light ball next to it is very helpful. To me, on it it looks like the light comes from the top, on the lizard the light is from the top and sort of from the left. Your arm looks much better with the cluster of light rathen than my strings. However, if the light would come from the top, or a bit more to the right, I find it a bit hard to figure out how the light would work on the arm, since the light would be somewhat more parallel to underarm itself. If it from the top and the arm is at an angle, wouldn´t it look rather similar to how it looks now?
I really like your colors. I want to place this creature in a sort of dank and cold area, while I do feel yours is warmer and nicer to look at, how to think about the area it is placed in?
Thank you!

bengo - your lizard looks pretty dang cool too, looks like something from Metroid now with the colors and the eye :)
as for the critique - form first - got it.  I can clearly see the form of the muscles of the arm. When you say adding detail in the transition from shadow to light.. you mean the half tones? for example, I see in the arm that the most dithering is at the light and mid light, while shadows and high light looks more clustered.
Yea, I am doing a set of creatures from Oblivion right now, but once I finish, I am seriously gonna try to study more regular art, including anatomy. It creates problems for me every time I try to create bigger sprites. :)

Offline bengo

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Re: Lizardman - please critique

Reply #6 on: May 23, 2021, 07:13:58 am
bengo - your lizard looks pretty dang cool too, looks like something from Metroid now with the colors and the eye :)
as for the critique - form first - got it.  I can clearly see the form of the muscles of the arm. When you say adding detail in the transition from shadow to light.. you mean the half tones? for example, I see in the arm that the most dithering is at the light and mid light, while shadows and high light looks more clustered.
Yea, I am doing a set of creatures from Oblivion right now, but once I finish, I am seriously gonna try to study more regular art, including anatomy. It creates problems for me every time I try to create bigger sprites. :)
At the terminator line you want to add detail, where the light transitions into shadow. You'll see a lot of artists do this. Still you need to make sure, like I keep saying ;) , the primary and secondary form is still readable through the detail.

As for anatomy studies this itself could be one! I gave you an anatomy drawover showing all the different muscles. What will help is to reference an anatomy sheet and look up 'origin' and 'insertion' for specific muscles (for instance- 'origin and insertion bicep' and you'll see it connects from the scapula to the radius, part of the lower arm, bone). You can also do something called an 'ecorche' where you draw muscle on top of a figure, typically with obvious anatomy sticking out like someone muscular or very skinny, and of course you can use an anatomy book as reference. Andrew Loomis' Figure Drawing For All It's Worth can be found online for free and has the anatomy correct for you to reference.

Offline cels

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Re: Lizardman - please critique

Reply #7 on: May 23, 2021, 08:46:12 am
cels - thank you for advice - the texturing tips are good. I tried adding sort of a wire frame with a multiply layer, but it looked very cluttery. This way is much nicer. As for the legs, I see mine are a bit cluttery, I tried to get across some sort of texture, but I wasn´t sure what I was doing. However, the big high light on the knee looks a little big to me. I sometimes try cut these up in the way I did on the shoulder, but not sure what gives a better effect. Is it generally better to stick to big, more simple shapes in terms of lights like those?
For the back leg and hand.. would it also work to lighten up the back hand?  You are right about the imbalance currently :D

It seems like you've rolled double sixes and received feedback from 3 very talented people, so my best advice is to listen what they have to say first. Having said that, I definitely think it's easier to start with big and simple shapes before very slowly adding more texture. At least until one has a lot of experience. The other edits are far better than mine when it comes to shading and details on the knee, etc but I agree with SeinRuhe's advice of focusing on big shapes first.  :)

For the back leg and hand, it does work to lighten up the back hand. However, brightness (making closer objects brighter), hue (warm vs cold colors) and contrast (high contrast on near objects) are very standard ways of creating depth for this type of sprites / characters. It makes it easier to immediately recognize which parts are closer and which parts are further away. But it's also a form of exaggeration and you can decide to have equal brightness, hue and contrast on all limbs if you prefer. (However, I definitely agree with what the others are saying about being specific about light sources, no matter what you decide)

Offline fskn

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Re: Lizardman - please critique

Reply #8 on: May 23, 2021, 01:55:15 pm
I wonder why the green pixels on the underside of the spikes?
I could say that the light that's hitting the back of the creature reflects back up to hit the spikes... But actually I was just trying to find one color from those you used that had the value that I wanted to see there.
It works both ways, though, I think.

And yes, the left hand has too many fingers :) Good find. thank you!
There's still one too many, though, if you compare it to the creature's right hand. The thumb should be kind of hidden away, maybe the claw would be poking out, but not the back/top of the finger.
I noticed it some time after I did that edit but was too lazy to go back and redo that part.

Offline spajjder

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Re: Lizardman - please critique

Reply #9 on: May 23, 2021, 02:42:41 pm
So one thing that confuse me a bit with values is, if something is further away, it would be darker, and the same for something that is not facing the light. But when there are somewhat complex forms, do you start going by another palette?
If I have muscles sticking out, then the lighter they are the closer they come to me the observer in one way, but the lightest part should hit the direction the light comes from right? So.. if I have a dark silhouette and start to add forms, they would be lighter than the dark. But then once I go to higher values  I get a bit confused.
The form coming out towards the viewer would be shadowed at the parts that do not go against the light but then I will break the form I just established..  not sure why I find this hard to grasp. I sort of just wing it when I pixel.

And I think the high light would be the spot where the light bounces directly into the viewers eye.