AuthorTopic: GR#015 - Death Walks - Realistic Face  (Read 13478 times)

Offline 7321551

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Re: Death Walks

Reply #20 on: February 11, 2010, 07:18:47 am
I think an important quality of pixel-art (if not the defining attribute) is contriving the subject matter so that subpixelling is minimal. If that weren't true, an image resulting from Photoshop's resampling function or a scan could be pixel-art without retouching, if it were sufficiently small.

So, I think this qualifies as pixel-art to the degree that the touching-up process addressed that, which it mostly did. But some areas remained over-AAed or confusing. For example, this 45 degree angle seems to have remained AAed since the initial color reduce - which isn't technically incorrect, but effectually blurs it:

Offline Atnas

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Re: Death Walks

Reply #21 on: February 11, 2010, 03:36:16 pm
Wonderful, Helm.  :)


@7321551: I disagree, pixel art is still pixel art even if the artist uses blurry arrangements and subpixelling. In fact, the more skilled a pixel artist is, the more they are capable of getting past the contrived state and move into territory where they're representing the subject matter more precisely. This includes manufactured blur and sharpen effects. The difference between the resampled and the pixelled image is that with the resample you have no control over how the image's pixels were placed. Because you didn't even look at the pixels, the art can't be pixel art.

Blurring and sharpening aren't something to be avoided in pixel art. I don't see why they should be. I also don't think the only way to control a pixel is by changing it.

Offline Jad

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Re: Death Walks

Reply #22 on: February 11, 2010, 05:52:52 pm
Aw dang man, you sat down with a 16-color palette and blotted down shit in very low resolution.

That's like the MEDIUM of pixel art. In my mind it's all so simple. I guess I'm making things very easy for myself.

What base you used isn't relevant to me either, if pixeljoint and this forum was suddenly flooded with touched-up color reduced pictures that were initially high-res I'd just think 'oh new pixel art movement' I mean sometimes I really think there is too much debate over what's kosher in the pixel art world.

And now I'm not really referring to the discussions about this piece at hand but about the discussions that the discussions about this piece often refer to.

Yeah that made sense.

über und aus
' _ '

Offline huZba

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Re: Death Walks

Reply #23 on: February 11, 2010, 06:11:18 pm
More easily quantifiable human experience that honestly approaches it's realm of grids and single pixels instead of aproximating seemingly analog visual information. That's how I've reasoned pixel-art for myself.
I don't see how it's different to take pride in putting every pixel by hand to brushing every single stroke by hand, so the act alone of placing pixels doesn't pixel art make i think.

Offline Rosse

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Re: Death Walks

Reply #24 on: February 11, 2010, 07:55:54 pm
Thanks for the long answer, I really appreciate it. The definition was very quick and I see how it lacks in many ways. A medium-definition doesn't have to contain what is good use of that medium (how to be successful in this medium), but I agree that it would be way more useful if the definiton would contain what should be achieved with the medium (on a technical or spiritual level). But honestly, I think I don't have enough pixelart experience to make an elaborate and useful definition is this respect.

You posed many interesting questions. Maybe it's a similar discussion in other arts, like martial arts for example. There's much talk about which is the most original art, the strongest and so on. I know the question exists, but it still looks a bit strange to me if I think about it. "Do pixel artists think they're more entitled to feeling pride on their piece over say generic CG artists because they've paid more micro-cosmic attention to the building blocks of their image? " I think I sometimes miss a term for "the way of the artist" (in a visual sense) like "the way of the warrior". There are tons of styles, tons of techniques but when real masterfulness is achieved, everything vanished and the human being is left to express himself in his own way. I sometimes kinda miss this spiritual thinking in visual arts. I know this thinking might be influenced by buddhism, maybe strange to western thinking, but I truly belive that in arts in general there's something like enlightment - that is, when you abandon all thinking of techniques, styles, wishes and truly express yourself through your own way (I think the term flow is something in that direction which is a known term in the west).
To come back to your first question, whether the highres or lowres artist is doing the "higher/truer art". As I stated above, the question to me is nonsense, but I think if a artist would go the "way of the artist", the wouldn't need to pose that question, because in the end, whatever medium or technique he uses, he reaches the same - nothingness.

Please forgive me if I'm too spiritual  :-X

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I wouldn't say that all those stylistic snes variations of fighter sprites etc are contentless, they are certainly derivative, but why do you say shadows?
I'm not sure why I said shadows, but I think it's a bit like a shadow can never be more elaborate than it's source. If a certain sprite is created with a highres-idea in mind, then a copy or variantion of that sprite will always lack something which the original has (if you don't understand the highres idea behind it). Of course I ignore the fact of "happy accidents", which might be even more probable compared to highres paintings (bob ross).  If you understand the highres idea, then of course adapting to a style wouldn't be a mere "shadow".

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What's fascinating for me for the average pixel artist regurgitating those philosophical bullet points (many of which I've endorsed in Pixelation for what will soon be a decade) is how self-delusional they are. They say 'strive for greatness through restrictions' but they are only talking about the technical restrictions inherent in pushing pixels. When it comes to conceptualizing a larger work and trying to make it fit in those restrictions, that's 'cheating'. This is why I talk about avarice:  most pixel artists are content to make startlingly simple pictures, no, most of the time fragments of pictures and at the same time hold the pride of working on them so intentionally on the pixel level that they think they've elevated the content due to labored upon form.
Is it fair if I say it's like the question "technique versus content"? Is it not normal for an artist to grow in the way of: child, has only content and no real technique. At some point it notices that it can't convey the idea as it wished. It's the beginning of learning techniques and doing studies, a time when it's easy to fall in the trap of overestimating technique. But as you begin to master technique, content gets more important and you slowly begin to express your ideas with the learned techniques. That was the way in traditional techniques since ever and it's the same in pixelart I think. These talk about "doing pixelart the right way" may only be a intermediate state you grow out of when you begin to master the technique.

Offline Redshrike

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Re: Death Walks

Reply #25 on: February 11, 2010, 09:40:12 pm
Sorry if this has been already said (long thread which I have only read about a third of), but while the general feel isn't as "tight" as some pixel art is, the color usage and placement feels very "tight" and definitely gives me the feeling of having had pixel-level scrutiny.  Not probably very useful, but that was my thought.

Offline 7321551

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Re: Death Walks

Reply #26 on: February 12, 2010, 08:12:28 am
First, I should emphasize that this doesn't apply to the piece under discussion specifically, which, as I said, is pixel-art because it mostly addressed these points, & I like it. I'm just describing my opinion on the role of computer automated processes in creating pixel-art.

Blurring and sharpening aren't something to be avoided in pixel art.
I agree. But isn't intentional blurring/sharpening a distinct design choice? All I meant was that the overzealous AA resulting from scanning or resampling appears blurrier in scenarios where it wasn't intentional.

In fact, the more skilled a pixel artist is, the more they are capable of getting past the contrived state and move into territory where they're representing the subject matter more precisely.
I see what you mean, but pixel-artists seem to regularly arrange the subject to avoid subpixelling precisely because it appears more precise.

For instance, they seem to prefer to align a subject the size of a pixel like that on the left, whereas they could also represent a subject of that size residing in the center of 4 pixels, such that each pixel is 25% opacity red. My earlier point was that computers don't have a preference, & so that's what the role (or part of the role) of the pixel-artist is. (clarity edit: What I'm getting at is, the artist not optimizing this aspect at the very beginning seems inefficient)

To look at it from the opposite angle, an artist who sufficiently internalized in her mind the rules of representing subpixel things could probably produce a result like this, I think?:

Would it be pixel art? People's answer to that will probably derive from where they fall on the style/medium dichotomy that NaCl brought up. My personal definition is "style".


« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 10:41:23 am by 7321551 »

Offline Atnas

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Re: Death Walks

Reply #27 on: February 12, 2010, 10:40:11 pm
On alignment, I agree, of course the artist would contrive the alignment to have it fall into the grid. I thought you were referring to the overall practice of subpixelling, which was silly of me. Yes, the computer doesn't have a preference and doesn't manufacture its own positioning, but in the case of a cleaned up resample, as you said that is where the artist plays their part. The only thing I was really stating about this was that the computer can also make placements you would find favorable, and not changing them is just as controlled as changing them.

On choice, the reason why it's more common in images made like this one is probably because the artist finds the blur fresh and appealing whereas otherwise they would have not thought to include it. So in either extreme case, just as much choice is provided. Plus, I know you're talking in general, but in this image the blurry [arts contribute.

On the eye image, yes, it would still be pixel art. I would feel bad for the artist because she was using an incredibly inefficient medium to create the image. The style chosen by many pixel artists is clean and easy, and it looks nice, but it doesn't necessarily disqualify other art made with the same pixel analysis of being the same medium.

hurr, we don't disagree that much do we. : D

You're right, Helm made pretty art and I'd love to see other people make pretty art. I guess the only reason the discussion matters is that pixel art needs to classify as pixel art by pixeljoint's standards in order to be shown there. But it's been shown and embraced and it feels good! <3

Offline Helm

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Re: Death Walks

Reply #28 on: February 13, 2010, 03:34:52 am
This discussion for me has been of equal importance to the piece. I'm very glad to see Pixelation and Pixeljoint provoke and embrace such dialogue.