AuthorTopic: [WIP] Canine Private Eye  (Read 7088 times)

Offline Argyle

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 269
  • Karma: +1/-1
  • Futuristic beep boop.
    • argylebox
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/13899.htm
    • valsaurus
    • View Profile
    • ArgyleBox | Designs by Valouria Saurus (VERY OUTDATED)

[WIP] Canine Private Eye

on: September 25, 2008, 03:56:04 pm
Greetings!  I am a long-time lurker of Pixelation but this will be my first post.  Did not want to make any posts before I had some real work to put up, of which this is my very first item I really put effort and time into!  I always try to dive straight in when learning things so I went ahead and made my first project an animation as well.  I aspire to eventually make an adventure game in the style of the Sierra classics such as Leisure Suit Larry or Space Quest, and this character is likely going to be worked in as the main character of it.  When time to do that comes, the dark outlines will probably be removed and character model simplified a bit to make animating and presence against the background more fluid, but that bridge will be crossed much later.

For now I am simply interested in growing as a pixel artist, and feedback from the members of this outstanding community would be something I consider invaluable criticism!




Some things I know need worked on:

  • The palette is something I am sure could be changed for the better, but what direction I want it to go in is something I find myself unsure of.
  • When the bone gets put back into the jacket, it's just the frames that led up to it playing in reverse.  I might try to at least change a few frames of unique  positions that have him slide the bone back into the jacket instead of the blurred ZOOM frame shoving it back in the same way it came out.  But it flows better than I thought it would when I put it all together, so I thought some criticism may open me up to options I hadn't considered before tweeking.
  • Work on the shading of the character.  Since I didn't get very into the specific details until after I had drawn all the frames of this, I got a bit overwhelmed by trying to go back and try, and didn't want to overdo it when I'm so inexperienced with methods of AA and dithering - feared I'd hurt the presentation more than help it.
  • Smoke rising from the cigar - I planned originally to have smoke waving above the cigar continuously but I'm a little out of my element working with GraphicsGale.  Having been almost exclusively a flash artist when it came to animated graphics, I couldn't find a simple way to have the smoke loop smoothly after defining frame delays.  I didn't have the patient persistence in me to add 40 frames (or however many more it would take) to keep the motion timing that exists already while having consistent timing for changes in the smoke direction.

Thank you in advance to anyone that replies, I had a great time making it!

Edit: My fiancee said "I hope they don't think it's too Sam & Max-y for 'em." "Whatya mean?" "Cus it's a dog in a trench coat."  Had never played the game and never knew about that.  I assure you I did not have the game in mind when I made this  :ouch:

Also, here's the individual frames.  I tried pretty hard to make the blurred arm frame not look like an MS Paint picture some kid took the spray can tool and went to town on.


« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 04:22:36 pm by Argyle »

Offline Tremulant

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 323
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Enfant Terrible
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Canine Private Eye

Reply #1 on: September 25, 2008, 07:27:26 pm


Heh, Reminds me more of McGruff than Sam. But good times nevertheless.

A few crits:

First and foremost, I found the outline colour distracting. It works fine in the lighter areas, but in the darker ones, the lines lose all of their weight, to the point that they essentially disappear. To that end, the darkest colour (the black used in the ear) can be used to emphasize the outlines in the shaded areas. Similarly, the original seems a bit flat overall and while  the contrast between your existing values is good, there are just too few of them. A couple of new shades added to the coat and face help to add more volume to the forms, and give a greater sense of depth. Also, your anti aliasing falls into the realm of banding, which you can find explained by Helm here: http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=5556.msg66232#msg66232
I separated the feet, and moved the head maybe 1 or 2 pixels to the right, to hopefully give a better sense of balance. In the original, it looks like he's leaning a bit to the right, and it seems he should be leaning on something to keep himself upright. Finally, as a matter of personal preference, I put his ear in front of his jaw/mouth/whatever, as I thought the original read a bit funny (at first I thought he had no ears and was balding).

I like the animation, but I'd make one suggestion involving the motion blur/speed lines. Instead of using solid black speed lines, you might try just drawing a colored blurred that follows the same line of motion. Generally, I find it looks cleaner or more polished and less phoned in or however you want to describe it. I'm probably not explaining what I mean really well, so hopefully someone can pick up my slack.

Offline PypeBros

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1220
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Pixel Padawan
    • PypeBros
    • View Profile
    • Bilou Homebrew's Blog.

Re: [WIP] Canine Private Eye

Reply #2 on: September 25, 2008, 07:30:39 pm
a good start as far as i'm concerned. I just wish the ears would stand out a bit more ... they mostly look like hair so far.
And about Sam&Max, you don't have to worry since your dog's character is obviously different from Sam's. Just avoid psychotic rabbit side-kick and you'll be safe ;)

Offline Argyle

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 269
  • Karma: +1/-1
  • Futuristic beep boop.
    • argylebox
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/13899.htm
    • valsaurus
    • View Profile
    • ArgyleBox | Designs by Valouria Saurus (VERY OUTDATED)

Re: [WIP] Canine Private Eye

Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 07:37:56 pm
Great suggestions, Tremulant, they help out a lot!  The ear fading out of noticibility was something I took a mental note of as it was being worked on but I had completely overlooked it during the export to be posted, so thanks for bringing it back to my attention  ;D

The new feet position and head do make more sense with your edit, going to have to go back and reconsider my body structure approach with him.  Could not find a happy medium that looked right during the initial conceptualization, so I tried framing a stick figure skeleton to show how he sits under the jacket.  Still couldn't find a -perfect- form, but this might give me a better picture to work on.  Will do more updates on it later today, after some packing.

Offline Argyle

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 269
  • Karma: +1/-1
  • Futuristic beep boop.
    • argylebox
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/13899.htm
    • valsaurus
    • View Profile
    • ArgyleBox | Designs by Valouria Saurus (VERY OUTDATED)

Re: [WIP] Canine Private Eye

Reply #4 on: September 26, 2008, 03:22:47 am
Updated version (non-animated) with shading, and considerations of critique / shading resources I went through since the original post:




The whisker holes your edit had were too amazingly adorable to not include so they were adopted.

Offline Ryona

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 344
  • Karma: +0/-1
    • View Profile

Re: [WIP] Canine Private Eye

Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 03:55:45 am
McGruff! ^_^
I haven't seen him for years now.

Just wanted to pop in and say that your latest edit looks awesome. I'd say you got it now.
Looking forward to seeing the new and improved sprite animated.

Offline Argyle

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 269
  • Karma: +1/-1
  • Futuristic beep boop.
    • argylebox
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/13899.htm
    • valsaurus
    • View Profile
    • ArgyleBox | Designs by Valouria Saurus (VERY OUTDATED)

Re: [WIP] Canine Private Eye

Reply #6 on: September 26, 2008, 09:36:29 am
History thus far:

->

-> <-newest


Before going in to redo the rest of the arm frames, I thought I'd take a step back to look at how I'm doing with the whooshy blended arm zoom frames in comparison with the first version.

First draft:

The left one is what it looks like under the layer of other harsher lines and discombobulation that can be seen on the right image.


Second draft:

Kind of looks like somebody smeared chalk and gunpowder across the canvas and called it a day to me still.

I think the blend done on the left image of the first draft was the best I've been able to do to pull off the effect so far, with maybe some more toned down elements from the first draft blend picture to the right carried over.. still cannot arrive at a rendering method that looks cohesive yet, if anybody has any advice for pulling this effect off more fluidly I'd be interested in studying it.  Will work on knocking out the rest of the frames next probably, and if nothing surfaces between now and then I may try doing a representation of the blur on paper or work on it in vector then attempt marrying them into a pixel form.

Thanks for feedback so far once again!  I've enjoyed the learning stages this piece has put me through so far.

Offline Yo-Yo-Master

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • My failed attempt at mimicking XenoStriker's style
    • View Profile
    • My DA..nothing much yet >>

Re: [WIP] Canine Private Eye

Reply #7 on: September 26, 2008, 10:35:26 am
This is looking pretty tank already.  My suggestion is to not have him stick the bone i back in his jacket so quickly.  If he's gotta reach in there to grab it, chances are that he won't be able to quickly shove it back in there in a flash.

Offline PypeBros

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1220
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Pixel Padawan
    • PypeBros
    • View Profile
    • Bilou Homebrew's Blog.

Re: [WIP] Canine Private Eye

Reply #8 on: September 26, 2008, 12:39:23 pm
is the bone a bone ? or a gun ?
(i mean, it looks like a bone, and he handles it as a gun)

Offline Argyle

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 269
  • Karma: +1/-1
  • Futuristic beep boop.
    • argylebox
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/13899.htm
    • valsaurus
    • View Profile
    • ArgyleBox | Designs by Valouria Saurus (VERY OUTDATED)

Re: [WIP] Canine Private Eye

Reply #9 on: September 26, 2008, 12:51:45 pm
Mainly started out as a shticky gag to include with a character concept animation.  Not sure the direction I'd like to take the character when it comes to writing the story for the adventure yet.  It could be a high-tech gun shaped like a bone.  It might be just a bone and this particular dog has way too much of a hyperactive imagination.  For now, though, let's just keep it as a bone that he's gimmickingly holding like a gun :P

And yes, Yo-Yo-Master I agree.  I never planned to keep it how it was with him shoving it back into the jacket just as quickly as he pulled it out.  It was just something I threw in as a placeholder until I draw out the inbetweens from him holding it to it going back in.  With the size of the character, it will likely just be a title screen art splash where he pulls the bone out of his jacket and stays in that pose, never putting it back away.  More than likely I would like to animate him putting it away properly just for the completionist in me.

I hope to work on it a bit more today if I have time between playing with my new gadgets and packing up more of the apartment; preparing for a move in a couple weeks.   :y:
« Last Edit: September 27, 2008, 03:13:02 am by Argyle »