AuthorTopic: I need some help on selout, lighting and other stuff C+C too*WIP RUN CYCLE*  (Read 14082 times)

Offline Mike

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I'm doing a test to determine whether or not I have the skill to increase the sprite size I'm using in my game.  I figure since it's gonna be about fighting and doing cool moves it would be nice to be able to see the main character in better detail. 

Here is the small version

and here is the new version that I hope to use.  I really hate the way I drew the jacket...looks fat and has a lame shape.  Plus the lighting...man I suck at lighting.
>udpdate1>update2(animation scrapped)
tried to salvage (still scrapped)

new idle animation >update1


Run Cycle
constructive critiques, comments, edits, insights, and anything else all welcome.  :y::D :y:
« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 11:46:20 am by Mike »

Offline Terley

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Re: I need some help on selout, lighting and other stuff C+C too

Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 03:22:49 pm
It's getting alot better, but Ive made a palette adjustment to bring like the hair and jacket to the right level of the pants. The face seems too busy with details you're just not going to acomplish, keep it simple.



Went a bit further using the colours wherever it can be of most significance helping with correct depth for shape, cleaning with AA and for more interest.

Help atall?

But overall a big improvement, just keep at it Mike I think you're better than you think you are. Just have fun  :P
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 03:25:33 pm by Terley »
I've not got anything interesting to type here..

Offline Mike

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Re: I need some help on selout, lighting and other stuff C+C too

Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 09:37:54 pm
Wow that is awesome dude!!  How did you decide to make an edit like that?  What was the main reason that made you go "yep this needs to be like this"  I'm really interested ;D Furthermore I really like your edit but I was wondering...  Are you sure there isn't a way to keep the smile?

Offline Mike

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Re: I need some help on selout, lighting and other stuff C+C too

Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 07:06:10 am
Update*

I decided to make the jacket a bit more detailed.  It's a leather hoodie jacket...

I made a few changes to the last edit as well as keeping the palette mostly the same.  I did add a new color for the zipper since white was too bright and gray was too dark.

Offline Conexion

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Re: I need some help on selout, lighting and other stuff C+C too

Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 07:35:42 am
I'm digging the character. The main thing I would consider is when doing the animation, having a bit more fun with the hair in the loop. In the current loop, it looks like 3 or so frame just loop while the rest of it is 6 frames (or some variation). Maybe the second half of the animation have his hair do something fun :D

Lookin good!

Offline Mike

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Re: I need some help on selout, lighting and other stuff C+C too

Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 02:50:08 am
I finally finished the idle animation on this bad boy.  Took forever!!!  Looking forward to the critiques and comments on this.  I feel I could do better but I need someone to direct me to what needs to be better. :P

Offline Helm

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My critique is: What does this pose mean? Would you see somebody do this move in real life? If so, besides in the case of him dancing, what would you emotionally connect with such a pattern of movement?

Offline Mike

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Keeping his body moving so he isn't stiff and so he is ready to fight. :D 
 

Offline Helm

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Yes but that's an invention, you know that? A fighter will move to utilize the space around him for his advantage, he would not excert energy for no reason. He isn't stiff to start with, if he's about to fight. Just because you saw something in some other videogame doesn't mean you should take its truth for granted.

Offline Mike

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The truth is I wanted it to be like a toned down bruce lee kinda deal.  I'm not that good at these really intricate animations.  Is there anything I can do without completely redoing this that would make it animate more like that and less like a dance?

Offline Tuna Unleashed

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The movement on the hair looks too slow. P. nice otherwise.

Offline Souly

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His legs are stretching up and down.
And he's leaning forward and back which really doesn't make sense, that is more like a boxer then bruce lee.
He did more of a hop jog type thing where he hoped up and down not tilting back and forth., it was used to be nimble on his feet and to distract his opponent.

Offline Mike

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I got wonderful critique from the coolest person EVER!!!  METARU!!!  Oh man this guy he knows it all.  I'm taking everything he says and applying it right away.  What would I do without you Metaru??  Probably live in a zoo!! ;D

Quote from: Metaru
what is this for. i mean is this suposed to be the idle stance of a figthing sprite?

if you ask me, the animation of some parts is  extremely overdone. the hair is the best example. rather than being moved by the kinetic force of the body feels more like the top of his head is about to launch hair spikes towards the enemy. even when its suposed to be a fantasy-ish haircut, its so unnatural and forced that ends being silly(its a soft movement, he's not headbanging]). the fringes are lacking a recoil when the head is moving foward, so it would wave normally and wouldnt swing like a wing. and a complete personal opinion, you should take away the blink animation(really doesnt add anything to the already overdone hair animation, and its rather better to not have it than having a mechanical movement for an action thats suposed to not be natural. its just lacking the amount of frames to give a bigger gap between each blink)

the left arm is a complete mess. something tells me you did the whole character(desing and shading) first and then just copy/paste segments to create the animation. if not, i cant explain why you messed the left arm so bad. its shape and volumen changes on every frame(while everything above the elbow remains stiff), and the hand smeels like a poor rotation. his wrist are dancing as if they were made of jelly. the zipper waves left right, but the structure and folds of the jacket itself isnt afected. look at this example of flow in a jacket(look at the movement of the zipper: thats exactly what i'm talking about the movement the recoil in the fringes):



same thing that happened with the left arm happens on the legs, on both. specially the left one is again a mess. if you look carefully, the guy has 2 knees. is basically imposible to make that idle stance with your legs placed that way. you just cant hold your weigth and move so naturally without forcing youself and therefore not making an idle stance(wich is suposed to be the relaxed stage of from where you start your actions)

there is plenty more elements to point in the piece, bbut i'm just focusing in the animation aspects of it.  oh and btw I'm a total douchebag.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 11:09:58 am by Mike »

Offline ndchristie

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I've not read what he's said, but don't quit a media because you receive strong criticism and don't quit because some guy might seem like a prick.

it's far better to go, sit down, watch a movie, eat some ice cream, call a girl, build a boat, whatever...and come back the next day with a fresh eye, fresh mind, and, ideally, all the stronger for taking it in the face.
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

Offline Mike

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Yeah I've been up and about in clothes that my character wears trying to figure out a purposeful fighting stance.  I was being a bit melodramatic in that post but I'm back and ready to take on the world again.  After thinking it over I feel like a fool for animating something that clearly had no personality, emotion or purpose.  So back to the drawing board.  I'll probably have to design a whole new sprite again but thems the breaks.  I'll still try and keep it the same size though.  I can't get much bigger than that and still hope to animate it.  Thanks for the advice ndchristie.

Also I'll never ever EVER animate something without fully thinking about the wofaim "Wants, Objectives, Feelings, As-if, Intentions, Moment before

Wants?
Objectives?....long term, short term?
Feelings?
As-if  (is character impersonating another character)?
Intentions?
Moment before  (continuity)?

Offline Metaru

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thanks for the quote. i feel honored.

Offline Mike

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okee dokee then
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 12:19:33 am by Mike »

Offline Helm

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thanks for the quote. i feel honored.

You should feel honored I don't normally go around quoting people from other boards everyday ya know.  Cherish this moment forever.

What's with the drama. On with your art, please.

Offline Mike

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Helm was that post really necessary?

Offline Yo-Yo-Master

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Quote
Helm was that post really necessary?
Was yours?  And just so I can't be bludgeoned for that skatchy response, I take it back, I'm a noob on this forum and it isn't my place.  My input is:  For your idle sequence, he dips down in the middle, and rises at either end.  Maybe you could try the opposite, so he is tallest in the middle.  In other words, maybe try making him bounce on his toes.  That might make more sense in this context.

Offline Helm

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Seeing how some posts have been edited since I posted, it seems it was. Carry on with your art, treat people who give you critique with respect.

Offline 32

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Whats up with the him holding his arm out? It's not helping him defend, not helping him attack and not helping him keep his balance, all it would do is make it easier for the enemy to pull him down and stomp him. Most (real life) fighting stances they will hold their arms up, it helps defend their face and torso from punches and makes it easy for them to punch, go ahead and try standing inn you guys position and put a lot of force into a punch without pulling your arm back. The foot placement doesn't make much sense, you wouldn't bend your leg that much, the 90 degree foot placement means when you kick you keep balance and can pivot easily, if your knees bent, as soon as you kick your gonna fall over.

Basically, for your next animation, think about the stance and how it gives you an advantage in a fight.

Offline Mike

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Quote
Helm was that post really necessary?
Was yours?  And just so I can't be bludgeoned for that skatchy response, I take it back, I'm a noob on this forum and it isn't my place.  My input is:  For your idle sequence, he dips down in the middle, and rises at either end.  Maybe you could try the opposite, so he is tallest in the middle.  In other words, maybe try making him bounce on his toes.  That might make more sense in this context.

I like the way you think, I'll give that a try.  Thanks for giving me some advice I can actually use.

Offline Souly

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You're old animation was theoretically better, minus the queer arm.

Offline AlexWeldon

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Yes but that's an invention, you know that? A fighter will move to utilize the space around him for his advantage, he would not excert energy for no reason. He isn't stiff to start with, if he's about to fight. Just because you saw something in some other videogame doesn't mean you should take its truth for granted.

I've been taking boxing classes, and movement in fighting isn't just about maneuvering for an advantage... yes, you're moving in and out of range of your opponent, and trying to be closer to the centre of the ring and push your opponent towards the ropes... but there's also a lot of semi-random bouncing around and moving your body back and forth, just to make you a harder target. If you want to think about it as feinting, I suppose there's some truth to that, but I don't think 100% of it is calculated, even among the pros... at a certain point, staying in motion and keeping light on your feet becomes a reflex; even if you want to hold your current position, standing flat-footed and stationary is going to get you clobbered, even if it "saves energy."

Offline Tuna Unleashed

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Now that I look at it, it kinda looks like everything has weights hanging on it, so it swings more slowly and dramatically than it should (namely the hair and jacket)

Offline Helm

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Yes but that's an invention, you know that? A fighter will move to utilize the space around him for his advantage, he would not excert energy for no reason. He isn't stiff to start with, if he's about to fight. Just because you saw something in some other videogame doesn't mean you should take its truth for granted.

I've been taking boxing classes, and movement in fighting isn't just about maneuvering for an advantage... yes, you're moving in and out of range of your opponent, and trying to be closer to the centre of the ring and push your opponent towards the ropes... but there's also a lot of semi-random bouncing around and moving your body back and forth, just to make you a harder target. If you want to think about it as feinting, I suppose there's some truth to that, but I don't think 100% of it is calculated, even among the pros... at a certain point, staying in motion and keeping light on your feet becomes a reflex; even if you want to hold your current position, standing flat-footed and stationary is going to get you clobbered, even if it "saves energy."

Everything you say makes sense, but it does not describe the sort of idle animation that a lot of 2d games are plagued with. I don't like tradition as an end in itself and I feel the generic idle bouncy animation for fighter sprites should be evaluated with a bit more critical thinking than it usually is. What you're describing would take a complex animation system to be rendered but it would be worth it much more than the generic 2 pixel vertical bounce.

Offline AlexWeldon

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Everything you say makes sense, but it does not describe the sort of idle animation that a lot of 2d games are plagued with. I don't like tradition as an end in itself and I feel the generic idle bouncy animation for fighter sprites should be evaluated with a bit more critical thinking than it usually is. What you're describing would take a complex animation system to be rendered but it would be worth it much more than the generic 2 pixel vertical bounce.

Well, I think a little bouncing is better than just standing there. Sure, more realistic animations would be great, but there are other factors to consider. Aside from development time, there's the gameplay fact that realistic "idle" animation would involve moving the character forward and back, and players won't like it if their character is moving without their control.

I think the problem isn't with the nature of the motion, since bobbing and weaving is one of the things that boxers do when they're not actively throwing a punch or blocking one, but rather just that the character is only doing one thing. The bobbing and weaving should be continuous, as it is now, but preferably with some rotation of the upper torso and/or "leaning" to the character's left and right, i.e. towards and away from the viewer. Also, the head should be moving around more, as that's the target you really want to make hard to hit. Finally, some other "feinting" should be thrown in... move the left hand a little forward once in a while, or twist the right shoulder slightly forward, as if starting to throw a jab or right cross. I guess you'd have to do the character as more than a single image, so that you could superimpose e.g. an arm animation or a duck of the head on top of the constant bobbing.


Offline Jad

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Regarding fighting stances in video games, sometimes you'll have to choose between plausibility and expressing character.

I'd say this pose, alont with the clothes signifies that this guy, although probably powerful, is a somewhat sloppy fighter and a trickster, who puts more emphasis on his fighting style looking flashy and effortless than it being effective. What with his fireball attacks being contact-juggling with fireballs and all.

So given that, some contrasting motions like him getting his guard up when he actually attacks and defends himself would make sense.

And also, yes, the bouncing kind of animations tend to look a bit weird when the character doesn't have his guard up.
' _ '

Offline Mike

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Now that I look at it, it kinda looks like everything has weights hanging on it, so it swings more slowly and dramatically than it should (namely the hair and jacket)

Yeah I realized after looking at it(I think I knew it at the beginning but I just couldn't bring myself to investigate it further)that the secondary follows the animation frame for frame instead of lagging behind, and continuing on after the animation stops.

I'm not really sure what the idle animation should be...As much as I would love to have something with many frames of smooth detailed animation, the truth is I'm just not at that level.  I'm still working on the animation though.  I originally wanted to have an all purpose idle animation but it appears I'll probably have to end up having idle animations for each weapons he holds.  At least that way it holds some purpose

Offline Ben2theEdge

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Keep in mind that the standing and walking animations really tell the player a lot about the character. So don't try to come up with a generic or even just a "cool" pose - if you have a good idea of who this character is, you'll make a much better animation.

A sort of cold, callous character probably isn't going to move around very much, but he'll have his hands in a position where he can defend himself because he doesn't trust anyone.
A confident, arrogant character will probably have his arms at his sides or even in his pockets 'cuz he's not afraid of being attacked.
An edgy, psychotic or excitable character is gonna be bouncing up and down on his toes just waiting to take off, wasting lots of energy because he has plenty to spare

etc, etc.

If you look at SNK's fighting games I think they do a better job of this than Capcom... although later Capcom games like Street Fighter 3 and Marvel vs. Capcom are better.

Professional animators usually have an easy time creating poses because they have writers who have already described the character's personality to them in great detail. If you're having a hard time coming up with poses just take a minute and put yourself in the character's head.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 02:57:22 pm by Ben2theEdge »
I mild from suffer dislexia.

Offline Mike

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Keep in mind that the standing and walking animations really tell the player a lot about the character. So don't try to come up with a generic or even just a "cool" pose - if you have a good idea of who this character is, you'll make a much better animation.

A sort of cold, callous character probably isn't going to move around very much, but he'll have his hands in a position where he can defend himself because he doesn't trust anyone.
A confident, arrogant character will probably have his arms at his sides or even in his pockets 'cuz he's not afraid of being attacked.
An edgy, psychotic or excitable character is gonna be bouncing up and down on his toes just waiting to take off, wasting lots of energy because he has plenty to spare

etc, etc.

If you look at SNK's fighting games I think they do a better job of this than Capcom... although later Capcom games like Street Fighter 3 and Marvel vs. Capcom are better.

Professional animators usually have an easy time creating poses because they have writers who have already described the character's personality to them in great detail. If you're having a hard time coming up with poses just take a minute and put yourself in the character's head.

Yeah that's what I was kind of trying to get at.  The more relaxed confident pose but still have one arm/hand at attention.  Maybe he shouldn't crouch down and just have one hand in his pocket, and the other out just chilling.  He isn't really a fighter and he doesn't know martial arts or anything.  He is just a street punk kinda kid.  With that said anyone have any suggestions?

Here is what I was trying to get at with my first pose. 

I don't have a tight leather jacket, so the best I could use was a black jacket.  Also I changed the way the hand was because in this picture it isn't visible at all so it looks kinda weird.

Offline Mike

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Here I worked on this real quick.  I want to submit it now before I put any detail in it.



I need some help on the twirling and the bat patting the ground.
In this anim the character will twirl the bat with his wrists, breathe a bit, and then pat the bat 2 times on the ground.  I'm thinking of making the twirling and patting the bat random animations that will play errr...randomly at a set time.

Offline Souly

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What's with the random spine shrinkage?

Offline Mike

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What's with the random spine shrinkage?

To simulate breathing I guess.  It's too subtle an animation to have his legs bend just for breathing.  These are just key frames.

Oh one quick question.  You ever have anything constructive to say Souly? 

Offline Jad

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He had, I also thought he was acting assy until I looked closely at the sprite and realized that hey, this kind of drag-and drop animation actually makes it look like his spine IS shrinking at certain intervals.

If you want to simulate a up/down motion with breathing, make his chest expand very subtly and his spine bend to cause his head to move up and down, not shrink and expand.

Please try to take all critique to heart and if you do not see the constructiveness of a reply you get, please ask for an explanation instead of questioning the character of the one posting the critique, okay? (:
' _ '

Offline TrevoriuS

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Oh one quick question.  You ever have anything constructive to say Souly? 
Number 1 rule of all forums: Don't be an ass.

Now what Souly shoul be maknig you do here, is think about the spine shrinking in the animation. Do you really think this is convincing breathing? Is there reason behind it at all if you state it in a sentence using 'i guess' at the end? It could be logical to simulate bending, but he's in no position to bend there regarding the arms staying where they are. This is too static and unnatural, and therefore very ynoticable. Whatever you try to simulate with it, redo it, and do it properly.

Every limb movement of your body affects them all. You can't have a walk cycle without shoulder movement, why do you think it's almost impossible to decently aim a gun while walking? You could try rotoscoping some stuff and learn from it by analyzing all the events and their reactions every frame.

Offline Souly

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Alright well I don't want to be constructive.
But I thought I'd let you know that elbows bend.

MINE - YOURS

Animation takes patience Mike, especially when your posting it on a forum for people to point out obvious flaws.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 11:12:55 pm by Souly »

Offline Helm

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Oh one quick question.  You ever have anything constructive to say Souly? 
Number 1 rule of all forums: Don't be an ass.

Actually, here's a strike. One more and you're gone. Reconsider your usage of the forum.

Offline Mike

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Alright well I don't want to be constructive.
But I thought I'd let you know that elbows bend.

MINE - YOURS

Animation takes patience Mike, especially when your posting it on a forum for people to point out obvious flaws.

While I do like your edit I have to say "Do you think I'm limbless"  I tested out this animation myself in front of a mirror.  I did not have to bend my elbows to take the bat to the ground.  I just moved my wrists.  Also I'm not quite sure what he is doing before he pats the bat down. 


Forget it...whatever I say is just going to backfire on me.

He had, I also thought he was acting assy until I looked closely at the sprite and realized that hey, this kind of drag-and drop animation actually makes it look like his spine IS shrinking at certain intervals.

If you want to simulate a up/down motion with breathing, make his chest expand very subtly and his spine bend to cause his head to move up and down, not shrink and expand.

Please try to take all critique to heart and if you do not see the constructiveness of a reply you get, please ask for an explanation instead of questioning the character of the one posting the critique, okay? (:

Can I get an edit of what this would look like?  How can I bend his spine without bringing his chest down 1 pixel? ???

Offline Jad

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Edit might come! Of course his chest will go down a few pixels, I mean that was the point - making the chest go down a few pixels without shortening the spine per se!

I actually didn't really mind the quick-version you've done as long as you'd animate it properly in the end, I was merely building on souly's crit. However, it's way past bedtime for me, so if I make an edit it'll come later!

Also please don't be too discouraged by the strikes, they're more or less a reminder for you to try and focus on your art and art alone. I recognize that some of the crits that've been given in this thread have been given in a harsh tone, but when you snap back, people get irritated because they think you don't take them seriously and voilá, suddenly the tone you'll encounter will be even harsher and non-considerate. If you feel unjustly treated or want to vent, I'm available for PM!

Here's hoping we can all continue this thread in a well-mannered ... manner : D
' _ '

Offline Mike

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Thanks Jad!  Yeah I have been getting a bit discouraged lately and while I try to follow critique sometimes it is a bit too harsh for my liking.  I think I have been following what people said so far.  I scrapped that old idle animation because it lacked purpose and am now working on a different one. :y:  I'll do my best to learn from the critique regardless of the way it gets presented.

*Update*



oh and for people with graphics gale, here is the .gal version.  I like using layers when I animate things like this, which for me makes it easier to manipulate the section that has the most animation.  If anyone wants to make edits this should make it easier.  The bat, hands arms, and body are on separate layers.  http://www.mediafire.com/?cjktk00mkin  I had to rar it because media fire wasn't verifying it.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 04:54:09 pm by Mike »

Offline Mike

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WIP Run cycle



Only thing I'm not too sure on is how I swung the arms.  C+C welcome

Offline Ai

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WIP Run cycle



Only thing I'm not too sure on is how I swung the arms.  C+C welcome
The leg movement is sound here. Think a bit more about his back -- he's running scrunched-up, as if he were injured; he crumples during the animation. While you can run at that sort of an angle, you'd be hard pressed not to fall over as you stop. One of the tipoffs here is the distance between the elbow and knee; personally, whether I'm running or sprinting, I am NEVER in any danger of hitting my elbows on my knees (or even on my thighs), only my fists on my knees.
If I was doing an edit, I would:
1. try limiting the vertical head movement to a maximum of 3 pixels; if your head really bounced around that much you'd be in danger of whiplash.
2. reduce the angle of his back and lengthen it 2-3 pixels (even if he's supposed to be relatively short).
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Jad

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Agreed somewhat.

Although it's better that you're going for an exaggerated and stylized run and a lame one, this ones look a bit too much 'holy shit fire, duck and run' run, so straightening him up just slightly would be good.

Head bobbing horizontally might look weird when in-game, a safer bet is reducing it to mostly vertical bouncing.

It's looking good though and certainly has the energy you're looking for!
' _ '

Offline ptoing

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The far and near arms and legs are the same positions. If you would have that animation in 2 colours it would look like 3 frames. Make sure to move things about a bit and don't have the far and near stuff be exactly on the same pixelspace.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Mike

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Should I make different versions of the back legs instead of copying them?  Same for the arms? 

Also I'm gonna make an edit with toned down horizontal movement, and bend the spine up a little too.

Offline Conzeit

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We've seen this character for a good while now, but since you removed his contact juggling move I'm at a loss for any of his personality traits. Care to write up a little profile for him? if you want to make a game you'll be needing one eitherway...