AuthorTopic: A question about 'Selout'  (Read 32905 times)

Offline ilkke

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A question about 'Selout'

on: January 31, 2009, 12:10:05 pm
I have always been confused by this 'selout' concept. First I thought it was an advanced technique, perhaps regarding to outline color, as opposed to single color outlines, then realized that I had no idea what it was.
I recently found an article by PKMays that supposedly proposes the term and is probably the origin of all the fuss. To be honest, I find the whole concept somewhat ridiculous. It seems obvious that 'selout' is just antialias to a dark background that becomes apparent when you put a sprite on a brighter background than intended. PKMays then goes on to explain how to properly make selout all the while working on a very bright background.

Now, I'm no saint myself, flaunting around terms like 'shape bluffing', and I intend no offense to anyone, but I'd really like to make things clear in my head.
Is 'selout' merely a mystification or did I get things wrong, AGAIN?
i

Offline Gil

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #1 on: January 31, 2009, 01:09:06 pm
The explanation I got when asking about it around 5 years ago to Peppermint Pig was: no one knows what it is and we don't ask about it, but capcom (I think) uses it.

Through the years I noticed it appearing on several pieces of video game art and it's basically a combination of AA-ing to a dark background and shading the lines themselves if that makes sense.

It was the next big thing 5 years ago, but nowadays everyone knows it's just not something you use in good art...

Offline Conzeit

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 01:31:16 pm
wow, funny how you make Pep sound when you say that, must've been the gist of what he was saying :p.

Selout was a term we came up with in pixelation when we were trying to make the first CCs...although we didnt have a name for CCs or Selout back then :p.it wasnt really an official activity or anything, it was more like Tsugumo just all of a sudden made a topic with a Street Fighter Alpha sprite posing the question of how it was done, then we'd all start to try and "demistify" it (like in his tutorials) and then we'd slowly tear it apart..obviously looking at a SFA sprite's pixel techniques one of the things that would call our attention would be Selout.

Gil is mostly right, it was a term we'd use to refer to the way those sprites would make the outlines fit the colors of each part of the sprite and the way that they'd use AntiAliasing to dark. We were all crazy about it back then because we'd just figured it out, it was the new toy for everybody here. I think we arent crazy about it now, but it's not like it has completely lost it's place, personally I think it's still a good idea to use it if you want to imply some width variation in an outline that has a width of a pixel or less.

Offline Hugo

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 01:38:56 pm
take a look on that :
http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=5253.0
comments from Helm and Pkmays are very interesting.

Demosceners used grainy textures, over-used highlighs, cracks and reliefs on walls, and overlapped shapes, no for "adding topographic detail to avoid having large featureless areas that can be hard to shade nicely with few colors" like you said. i never read others artists write something like that. if they used "shape bluffing", it's only for the style and win compos. so, i think "Shape Bluffing" it's a good idea but it's like "selout", it's your invention.

Offline Helm

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 01:48:58 pm
Oh oh! Selout again!  :'(

Offline Conzeit

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 02:02:24 pm
hahahah. I never read that topic that Hugo just linked to...I knew Helm was not exactly fond of the idea but it's hillarious to think that he's been trying to kill it all this time :p.

Selective-Outlining. Is it really that bad Helm? I suppose that the way the term spreads all over the place and makes people so focused on putting dark jaggies on an outline is kind of annoying.....but I think we could seek other ways to bring it to the light rather than just..you know, try to make it a bad word or whatever :p.

I think one of the reasons it became so widespread back then is because when people would try to make something similar to a Capcom sprite, they'd just use some botchy black outline that really stood out on the sprite, and more often than not would be plagued by jaggies.....from that perspective Selout WOULD be a step up.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 02:04:45 pm by Conceit »

Offline ilkke

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 02:24:52 pm
Whoops! Sorry I asked, I didn't know there was so much emotion involved.
Still, is it not obvious that it is in fact antialias out of place? The fact that someone finds it aesthetically pleasing is very amusing. Giving it a name is pure SNK fandom, despite the fact that this 'feature' is as old as antialias in games.
I hereby declare that in my mind, selout is a redundant term for redundant antialiasing.
i

Offline ptoing

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 02:28:06 pm
Ilija, WTF!?! This is why you have me in your contacts on MSN and such, to not embarrass yourself like this! But yeh, you got the main idea. In 99% of all cases selout is silly.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Helm

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 03:51:17 pm
hahahah. I never read that topic that Hugo just linked to...I knew Helm was not exactly fond of the idea but it's hillarious to think that he's been trying to kill it all this time :p.

Selective-Outlining. Is it really that bad Helm? I suppose that the way the term spreads all over the place and makes people so focused on putting dark jaggies on an outline is kind of annoying.....but I think we could seek other ways to bring it to the light rather than just..you know, try to make it a bad word or whatever :p.

I think one of the reasons it became so widespread back then is because when people would try to make something similar to a Capcom sprite, they'd just use some botchy black outline that really stood out on the sprite, and more often than not would be plagued by jaggies.....from that perspective Selout WOULD be a step up.

I'm humourous about the SELOUT HATE GRRR. I just don't like it when bad practices are kept on just because they have a cool name. Remember the 'pillowshading tutorial?'. Other places might do that sort of thing, but Pixelation is supposed to be self-questioning and to drop bad luggage.

btw here's another great thread about selout http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=2511.0
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 03:53:35 pm by Helm »

Offline Hugo

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #9 on: January 31, 2009, 04:36:12 pm
"Whoops! Sorry I asked, I didn't know there was so much emotion involved."
sorry Ilkke, my comment didn't want to be harsh.  :-[

i just think Selout and Shappe Bluffing are "interpretations", very interesting, but which don't reveal a voluntary choice of the graphic artists of the 1990s (Snk /Capcom for Selout, demosceners for Shape Bluffing). i saw lot of reviews and diskmags us/french of the 90s, and none graphic artists speak of these technics... 

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #10 on: January 31, 2009, 09:15:12 pm
Quote
btw here's another great thread about selout http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=2511.0
Wow.  Excellent thread.  Definitely adding to my favorites for further reference.

I like how it is discovered that selout is actually AA on certain backgrounds.  Instead of calling it selout when it's done poorly, should we just call it bad-AA then?

Offline blumunkee

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #11 on: January 31, 2009, 09:42:44 pm
*sigh*

Shall I ever find respite from my past transgressions?

I find it unfortunate that all my explanatory images are broken, I wasn't aware that google killed my website.

I think it's about time I created a "Selout debunked" thread, with the hope to finally vindicate myself.

Offline Mike

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #12 on: January 31, 2009, 10:00:11 pm
So wait...Sel-out(or whatever it is called) is bad?  Why did I spend time learning it then?  Just so I'm not confused anymore what exactly do we use now?

Offline ilkke

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #13 on: February 01, 2009, 11:14:24 am
So wait...Sel-out(or whatever it is called) is bad?  Why did I spend time learning it then?  Just so I'm not confused anymore what exactly do we use now?

You spent your time learning to antialias, and we use common sense?
i

Offline Helm

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #14 on: February 01, 2009, 12:46:30 pm
Mike I don't know why you spent time learning selout!  :(

blumunkee: YOU WEELL NEVER LEEVE IT DOOOOWWWN

Offline Jim16

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #15 on: February 01, 2009, 08:14:53 pm
I think then that it should be widely spread that sel-out is a bad "myth"? that beginners think are good. And maybe we should just start putting this notion into every "Pillow shading" topic that comes up all over the place, just to stop a fundamently wrong techniques from spreading.

And I was going to look into this when I saw this topic  :lol:

Offline Helm

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #16 on: February 01, 2009, 10:53:15 pm
Well I'm just a guy with an opinion. If you think selout looks good, by all means, use it. Just listen to your audience if they think it doesn't. Pillow shading most would agree looks like assfoam, but that shouldn't stop you from using it if you're doing it for some reason other than by mistake or 'I saw someone else do it'.

Offline Gil

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #17 on: February 02, 2009, 04:30:29 pm
Even assfoam has correct shading. Heck, even pillows aren't pillowshaded.

At least when I see sel-out on Shun-Li, it sorta makes sense in a line-variation dark background AA kind of way...

Offline Jad

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #18 on: February 02, 2009, 04:50:53 pm
I'm tired about this shit

Sel-out is short for selective outlining

Why it has come to mean somthing else is completely above me.

The broken-outline-that-works-like-AA is one kind of selective outlining, where you try to make your outline less heavy by simply omitting them and letting the brain fill in the rest. Works sometimes when you're not looking closely, from my experience. Looks ass if you're using it as a default outlining method.

There are other ways to outline your art selectively (thus not using one single-colored outline). Why is the capcom-broken one the only one that's called sel-out?

I always thought it meant all kinds of selective outlining, like omitting it completely in places and having the colour of the line follow the shading, etc.

Why don't we just ditch the misunderstood abbreviation and start typing out selective outlining when we mean it?

And whenever someone uses AA-to-black as outlines, can we just call it a 'broken outline' and not SEL-OUT so we can avoid the 'what is sel-out' questions? ):

Plxz?
' _ '

Offline Helm

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #19 on: February 02, 2009, 04:58:04 pm
Quote
There are other ways to outline your art selectively (thus not using one single-colored outline). Why is the capcom-broken one the only one that's called sel-out?

Because that's what it meant when defined by its creators.

The point is to demystify, not to mystify. When people ask what selout is, we can give them links to threads, that's fine. If people ask what is a good way to outline their sprites, then we may help by explaining line width and light variation and etc etc etc without resorting to made-up-technique-names that further mystify, and by stressing that the better ways to outline one's work are relative and follow from good general artistic practices, not some strange pixeller-only-language.

'techniques' must be destroyed. Someone looking at Symphony of the Night and saying 'wow this style is rad, I bet they have specific techniques they used to get this result' probably hurts their artistic growth more than it helps. Fool's errands are popular because they seem to suggest shortcuts to artistic ability. "Learn selout and your sprites will become much better". This is meaningless and should die. "Learn art fundaments and your sprites, along with the rest of your art, will become better". This should be promoted. Dithering is a technique. Anti-alias is a technique. Banding is a discernible effect that should be talked about to much greater length. Selout is a byproduct of some bigger artistic decision that younger artists should face up to, not just look at the end result and pick selectively.

Offline ptoing

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #20 on: February 02, 2009, 04:58:32 pm
See Jad, this is the burden of our friend blumunkee here. He made this shite up years ago and called it selective outlining, or sel-out in short. It is nothing but aaing towards a background colour, be it black or something else. It hardly ever really works all that great. But yeh, it is a shit term, and blumunkee should pay money every time someone asks about it. Or alternatively spend 1 aeon in purgatory for each time. Seems fair to me.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Jad

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #21 on: February 02, 2009, 08:44:52 pm
Yes, and I'm saying the same thing.

We shall purge the 'sel-out' from the collective mind and we shall use the term 'selective outlining' when we see 'selective outlining' in effect because that's a two words whose combination carries an inherent meaning and thus needs not be asked about as much as the ambigous abbreviation that we all hate.

The thing that is called sel-out that is obviously ONE way to do 'selective outlining' (to not make a 1px fully enclosing outline) should, though, be called a BROKEN OUTLINE or something along those lines, because that's what it is also.

Also I was lurking here when the term first came up so I won't need the history lessons. Or rather I actually do because I didn't know it was all BLUMUNKEE's FAULT D:<

There is no forgiveness from me.

No but really even when the term FIRST DEVELOPED I thought we were already clear on the subject that this 'sel-out' was obviously JUST AN ABBREVIATION for SELECTIVE OUTLINING

Why is everyone an idiot and just took it as a name for a TECHNIQUE to create broken outlines? Aaaaargh.

tl;dr

Everyone is an idiot and sel-out is not a technique
' _ '

Offline ptoing

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #22 on: February 02, 2009, 09:04:25 pm
Why is everyone an idiot and just took it as a name for a TECHNIQUE to create broken outlines? Aaaaargh.

Helm answered this. Blumunkee aka PKMays coined that term back then, he called it selective outlining and called it sel-out for short, and he described it in his tutorial as the broken aa crap as observed in capcom games (not that capcom are the only ones who did this).
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline blumunkee

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #23 on: February 02, 2009, 09:13:02 pm

Offline ptoing

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #24 on: February 02, 2009, 09:19:35 pm
Quote
This is a big reason Capcom, SNK, and other professional game sprites look so good, this funky, seemly random shading inside the outline. The keyword is "seemingly" -- after the studying I've done, I've found out a few things about how to do it. I'll do my best to explain it as clearly as possible.

 :lol: :ouch:
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline blumunkee

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #25 on: February 02, 2009, 09:22:34 pm
 !yus!

Offline Atnas

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #26 on: February 02, 2009, 10:39:41 pm
hahaha I used that tutorial four years ago, I had forgotten where it was, and I didn't know who wrote it. In my mind's eye the quality of the graphics were much better. (suppose I stored them as relative to my ability) :) Good thing I never paid much attention to that selective outlining article, I guess?

I feel like there's a losing battle going on when people start dithering gradients on sprites and ask, "how's my dithering" rather than "how do I properly define my forms". I think the problem rests in the mindset, people think they can get something for nothing. Instant gratification, shortcuts, techniques. Honestly it isn't that sel-out is used, it is how it's used, or maybe why it's used. I guess you could say blumunkee did commit some kind of sin. However.

Selective outlining has it's time and place, it can work. But maybe it shouldn't have a name at all, maybe it should just be treated as something capable of smoothing the edges of sprites placed on a darker background. Maybe even then, dithering shouldn't have a term coined. It should just be commonplace knowledge that when you don't have a color, you make one by making a pattern out of different colors. But that's the problem, because they are so commonly used (and actually have their uses), it's not up to any one person to decide if they should or shouldn't be a technique, because they already are. You can't change the mindset of society, you can't infiltrate different communities and erase awareness.

I guess I'm addressing
Quote from: Helm
techniques' must be destroyed. Someone looking at Symphony of the Night and saying 'wow this style is rad, I bet they have specific techniques they used to get this result' probably hurts their artistic growth more than it helps. Fool's errands are popular because they seem to suggest shortcuts to artistic ability. "Learn selout and your sprites will become much better". This is meaningless and should die. "Learn art fundaments and your sprites, along with the rest of your art, will become better". This should be promoted. Dithering is a technique. Anti-alias is a technique. Banding is a discernible effect that should be talked about to much greater length. Selout is a byproduct of some bigger artistic decision that younger artists should face up to, not just look at the end result and pick selectively.
Truly, I agree with you. But I also believe that once something is established it can not be practically destroyed.

You can see in the beginner's work that he does not treat his game sprites as art. I don't know how else to put it. Because he does not see it as an art, he tries making game characters without first studying art. Is there a digital disconnect? I believe that this contributes more than all else to the mindset that 'techniques' will make your art better, rather than you using techniques because the situation calls for it. Ideally we'd all be problem solvers and come up with these techniques on our own. But because we choose to socialize in a place such as this, terms are coined. When terms are coined, I believe then the practice becomes a technique and the novice treats it as a weapon in his arsenal. Ultimately it leads to what you feel so strongly about with words such as "destroyed" and "die"

So I don't think blumunkee is to blame, it would have arisen anyway. And so too anything that hasn't been given a name yet. And I don't want to search for these undiscovered "Techniques" lest they be equipped by someone who is not adaptive but merely uses what is in their 'arsenal'.

At least on Pixelation we can try to "destroy techniques" but this place is only so big.

This has been an embarrassing post for me. I think in circles and don't make up my mind before I start typing, sometimes changing my opinion within the same post. I usually don't say much but I felt like I should speak up instead of just keeping it to myself this time.

Offline crab2selout.png

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #27 on: February 02, 2009, 10:54:03 pm
http://pixel-zone.rpgdx.net/shtml/tut-selout.shtml
 :'(


Oh wow. Super flashback. That's the tutorial+website that really made pixel art click in my head. I think I found pixelation(old blue) from there. That had to be almost 6 years ago. As bad as maybe these tuts are, they really made the pixel art world seem more approachable.

Don't feel too bad, blumunkee. It may seem bad in retrospect, but it was really inspiring to me at the time.

Offline Jad

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #28 on: February 02, 2009, 10:58:09 pm
Ptoing: Oh, there was a tutorial. ): Well, then that was what CEMENTED it into the minds of the people. Happy I didn't read it.

Well, now that I went ahead and read it: Actually the tube with the broken outline has an outline that lesser conflicts with the shape of the inside than the full outline. Since then brain loves to abstract things, at first glance (FOR ME) it looks as it has more explicitly defined form. After tuning in it just looks very broken.

Well, with smoothly animated things the outline warps and merges so much that the first-glance-effect stays much longer and thus looks much better than it does on stuff that is completely still.

If it's on a blurry CRT screen then it's easily dismissable.

And that's what I think! : D

Jad: the opinion factory super deluxe right at ya
' _ '

Offline blumunkee

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #29 on: February 02, 2009, 11:08:09 pm
Atnas, you really hit the nail on the head. It was very much about instant gratification and less so a detailed analysis of fundamentals.

To my own credit, the original version of the tutorial was originally posted on the old Pixelation, which had dark blue and black backgrounds. So it didn't look quite THAT horrible.

Also note that the tutorial never was really finished. It started as v0.5 and I intended to flesh out the details for a more complete v1.0. I don't remember Helm or Ptoing being around at the time to serve as voices of doubt.

Oh, and the tube... What a horribly random object for an example.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 11:10:46 pm by blumunkee »

Offline ptoing

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #30 on: February 02, 2009, 11:24:18 pm
I for sure was not around when this tut was written, and also I used selout in some of my old stuff T_T
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Cow

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #31 on: February 03, 2009, 12:11:27 am
Hahaha, I just looked back on some of my old stuff:



It just doesn't make sense... :'(

Offline dekutree64

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #32 on: February 03, 2009, 12:14:01 am
I don't see what the big deal is... it's nice to have a term like selout to search for references on something as specific as varying outline color on sprites to get a bit more definition to the edges than a solid black line.

I do agree with the OP that what (I think) is commonly referred to as selout is basically a type of anti-aliasing. But not against a dark background, so much as simulating using a dark outline with varying thickness, along with shading of the inner color. It's more like trying to take the underlying shape, with shading up to the outline, and the outline itself (however wide it is at that point), and squeezing it all into a single pixel.

But if it's generally agreed that selout means "trying to copy what Capcom does on some edges of sprites, even when not appropriate", then that is a problem and usage of the term should be discouraged :P

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #33 on: February 03, 2009, 12:32:31 am
Quote
But if it's generally agreed that selout means "trying to copy what Capcom does on some edges of sprites, even when not appropriate", then that is a problem and usage of the term should be discouraged
The problem is, not everybody knows better, especially those that may freshly view the tutorial that treats it like the Capcom way of doing it.

Offline Jad

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #34 on: February 03, 2009, 12:53:30 am
I don't see what the big deal is... it's nice to have a term like selout to search for references on something as specific as varying outline color on sprites to get a bit more definition to the edges than a solid black line.

I do agree with the OP that what (I think) is commonly referred to as selout is basically a type of anti-aliasing. But not against a dark background, so much as simulating using a dark outline with varying thickness, along with shading of the inner color. It's more like trying to take the underlying shape, with shading up to the outline, and the outline itself (however wide it is at that point), and squeezing it all into a single pixel.

But if it's generally agreed that selout means "trying to copy what Capcom does on some edges of sprites, even when not appropriate", then that is a problem and usage of the term should be discouraged :P

THIS IS what I am getting at. In my ears sel-out just means selective outlining.

But as you're stating below, it has come to mean just what between your quotation marks, no matter how much we wish otherwise.

Which is why we should avoid that exact abbreviation, I guess.

; ___ ;

Ptoing: Disregard, i was probably NOT around back then : D But I was around when the term was still 'fresh'.

' _ '

Offline Gil

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #35 on: February 03, 2009, 01:00:08 am
I remember Ptoing's first posts. Ampelkopf animated thingie, was that the first? I don't remember Jad's old nick, so I can't say about him joining.

Crazy old days, crazy old techniques

I remember believing Tsugumo's tutorial was the bible of pixel art or something. I was caught up in getting better pixels, but it was after going to art college and getting some fundamentals that I saw a real increased result in my pixel art.

I found that animation is all about studying and trying. Most art is like that though, just do it over and over and over and study what you did a few weeks later. You can't just make stuff and then go on to the next thing. Always look at the previous stuff first. What do I need to work on.

Stuff like sel-out is just an easy "technique" to get things to work. Tutorials don't really teach you anything but an approach. Don't follow the steps, understand the steps.

Offline blumunkee

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #36 on: February 03, 2009, 01:01:13 am
I sort of remember the original selout thread. I think Tsugumo, st0ven, and I made a bunch of fighter sprites why trying to use the magical new technique. Selout as defined above really is equivalent to drawing an outline, then breaking it arbitrarily to suit one's taste. It has sadly little to do with anti-aliasing.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 02:28:19 am by blumunkee »

Offline Helm

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #37 on: February 03, 2009, 05:49:57 pm
I want to address a few things said.

First of all, blumunkee, I do not actually resent you in the least about the creation of selout. It's in a humorous way that I go all grrr  >:( selout  >:( never live it down  >:( etc. Actually I've done what you've done many times as well. I gave advice or even *sigh* wrote tutorials when I was nowhere the level I should be to actually try to help others.

But, nobody's getting paid here. We're all feeling our way in the dark trying to work through artistry. In this way, sel-out was a useful invention even in that we now debunk it somewhat. The analytical method, trying to see how people make their art and how we may learn from them is sound, even when it results to sel-outs (and there have been many 'sel-outs', I think I even made some). It's true like Atnas says, what's different between 'sel-out' as an isolated technique and 'dithering'? Dithering should optimally just be treated like color mixing and texturing is treated in real art, it may have some pixel-arty specifics but it's not a big deal, one with sound art fundamentals can get the handle of dithering in 2 months. So yes, from a point of mentality, we have a lot of 'techniques' we need yet purge.

I just wanted to say that I really don't think you did anything 'wrong'. And that I'm sure that even today some people that selout self-consciously know what it does and how it looks and just still like it. Good for them. I'm just trying to battle the unthinking adoption of 'Pixelation rules'. Even if they are selout but something dearer to me like hue mixing and color optimization. When I see someone post something with 'Helmy' color mixing or very few colors used everywhere and I feel they're just imitating what I did instead of understanding why I did it, it's just as bad as when someone decides they'll use selout because the 'pixelling scene online does it'.

What's important is not to be ashamed to say 'hey, that thing I invented? That's not how it should be used. Here, study the fundamentals and the rest will come naturally'. I know that's a bit of a catch-22 because Pixelation will always first and foremost be about dithering, aa, etc stuff and how to help people with those because simply... that's really the area of expertise here. But if some sound artistic practices can be sneaked through I'd really love it much more than endless glorification of stupid stuff we have given an name to.

Atnas: you're right about terms like 'die' and 'destroy'. I'm just joking. What we need is to raise awareness towards QUESTIONING OLD TRUTHS. Artists should not learn by example, they should look at the examples and then judge them and internalize the real relevant stuff.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #38 on: February 06, 2009, 11:51:46 pm
yeah, that's the bad thing, when certain cool named "technique" becomes the instant pixelart improver...and so everyone goes and splatters it all over.

Offline blumunkee

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #39 on: February 08, 2009, 10:33:07 pm
Thanks for the kind words Helm. But I really do want to make a Selout DEBUNKED thread. I owe it to every poor soul I have misguided since 2002.

Offline Helm

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #40 on: February 09, 2009, 12:20:23 am
Sure it'll be a worthy cause I think! Just to aid equilibrium.

Offline blumunkee

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #41 on: February 11, 2009, 08:25:38 pm


Heh.

I don't think the Capcom artists were completely high. I think they understood that their sprites were going to be displayed on big blurry arcade CRT displays, and so they took some liberties with their style. Interestingly, about half the cast in this game is drawn with hardcore broken black outlines, the rest tends to keep it more conservative with the line breakage. I wonder if there wasn't some dissenting opinions on style amongst the artists.



But still, there are better ways to go about things.

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #42 on: February 12, 2009, 06:35:59 am
I think the "blurry arcade CRT monitors" part is an important thing to consider.  Squint your eyes to make the sprite blur up and the selout effect is far less noticeable and gives an illusion of sharpness.  It's probably why selout doesn't work too well when we study it or use it because we have nice clean monitors to work with with 1:1 pixel aspect ratio and little blurring of said pixels.

Offline ptoing

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #43 on: February 12, 2009, 08:50:32 am
Arcade monitors are way more blurry than PC monitors, I give you that. But they are still pretty sharp all things considered. Last time I was in an arcade and checked I could def see the selout on stuff like the capcom games. Stuff like Metal Slug has none of this Selout business and imo looks much nicer on arcade crts as well.

Dunno, might be taste, but you can still see the selout in the arcade, maybe a bit less, maybe hardly at all given backgrounds and how subtle it is.

But those top 3 sprites blumunkee posted there, you would would have to have a fucking goddamn blurry screen, so blurry you could not make out the face on the guy before you would not see the selout (unless they are on ridiculously dark backgrounds of course.)
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Helm

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #44 on: February 12, 2009, 11:58:03 am


This is Gaussian blur 2.0 pixels, the least I could get it to before the selout wasn't noticable anymore. I think it's pretty clear that if one depended on this level of blur on their monitor before completely senseless choices like that selout worked, then why even bother to put any detail anywhere on the sprite, it's just lost.

Offline huZba

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #45 on: February 12, 2009, 12:11:42 pm
Don't most of those arcade screens have heavy scanlines visible?

Offline ptoing

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #46 on: February 12, 2009, 12:48:52 pm
Scanlines do not work like that tho you see. On lowres stuff usually only half the scanlines are used, so you get one with no pixels every other line basically, but shit bleeds enough due to the nature of light and all that it is not too harsh. But it's not like every other pixels goes darker or something.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 01:17:38 pm by ptoing »
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Ai

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #47 on: February 12, 2009, 01:05:34 pm
Don't most of those arcade screens have heavy scanlines visible?

CRT TV-style scanlines. Which means there's plenty of bleed, as ptoing says. MAME has a reasonable emulation of the effect.

ptoing: 'one no pixels' meaning what? (blank scanlines?)

I'm feeling a bit confused now.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline ptoing

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #48 on: February 12, 2009, 01:29:55 pm
"one with no pixels" I wanted to type, missed the with. But yes, blank scanline.

Pretty much all old arcade games (and old computers) have very low resolution, they do not need all the available scanlines the monitors can display. They just diplay on odd scanlines normally. (might be even ones, not that it makes a difference.) So this means that every other scanline does not hold ANY information at all.

Here is an example photo I just took from my C64 RGB monitor (which is the same technology as many Arcade RGB monitors basically)



You can see that every other line is not illuminated at all, this is not due to the monitor not being able to do so, but due to the C64 not displaying anything there. There is no scanline flicker between odd and even scanlines either. It's just stable even scanlines. And this is the case in pretty much all older arcade games as well, pretty sure about this. I played a fair share of games in the arcade the last few years when I was in London, and they all had stable scanlines, which indicates this phenomenon.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Ai

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #49 on: February 12, 2009, 01:45:11 pm
"one with no pixels" I wanted to type, missed the with. But yes, blank scanline.

Pretty much all old arcade games (and old computers) have very low resolution, they do not need all the available scanlines the monitors can display. They just diplay on odd scanlines normally. (might be even ones, not that it makes a difference.) So this means that every other scanline does not hold ANY information at all.

Here is an example photo I just took from my C64 RGB monitor (which is the same technology as many Arcade RGB monitors basically)



You can see that every other line is not illuminated at all, this is not due to the monitor not being able to do so, but due to the C64 not displaying anything there. There is no scanline flicker between odd and even scanlines either. It's just stable even scanlines. And this is the case in pretty much all older arcade games as well, pretty sure about this. I played a fair share of games in the arcade the last few years when I was in London, and they all had stable scanlines, which indicates this phenomenon.

rightright.. so this means the pixels look somewhat between square and rectangular, despite the displayed part being quite rectangular -- so really, rather than every other scanline of the original sprite being darkened, it's more like every other half-scanline of the original sprite is darkened and blended.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline ptoing

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #50 on: February 12, 2009, 01:51:57 pm
exaclty.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline huZba

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #51 on: February 12, 2009, 03:28:26 pm
Oh right, I think I'm following now, thanks. Gotta try out how that would affect those fighter sprites.
Really the best way to see this in action is to take some photos of the real deal of course, tho i don't think there's any capcom arcade machines around here anymore. Just those sucky arcade collection machines that have like 50 random titles in them.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #52 on: February 12, 2009, 03:57:05 pm
The first thing that comes to my mind is that this scanline thing would generate tall pixels. :) This also fits with the way they're pixeled, because I've compared the sprites to their original sketches and they are always squashed vertically, as if they were making up for tall pixels. ::)

Since we're considering pixels in such a close up level, I thought I might post (from wikipedia) an illustration of the two main methods of arraying pixels in CRT:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v165/talbot/ShadMaskVSAprGril.jpg

-Shadow Mask (right): Which actually employs RGB triangles that flip vertically to make this pattern

B R G B R G B R G B R G 
 G B R G B R G B R G B R
B R G B R G B R G B R G
 G B R G B R G B R G B R
B R G B R G B R G B R G

-Aperture grille (left): which arranges each channel (RGB) in neat little vertical lines, being closest to our square conception of pixels. Like so:

RGBRGBRGBRGB
RGBRGBRGBRGB
RGBRGBRGBRGB
RGBRGBRGBRGB

EDIT: wow! some aperture grilles actually dont line up vertically! they're more like

RGB     RGB
     RGB      RGB
RGB     RGB
     RGB      RGB
RGB     RGB
     RGB      RGB
RGB     RGB
     RGB      RGB  That's nuts! I thought aperture grille was closest to square grids, but this actually means Shadow Mask is a little more reliable...c.c this makes pixeling quite different =O I mean just looking superficially we can see there a re 3 different ways in which pixelart can be displayed depending on Array method and manufacturer  :o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_geometry  Ok, I think this is the page we want to be looking at...this one actually focuses on the way in which subpixels are being distributed.

Apparently there's

Triangluar (delta)



Diagonal



Stripes


These show how there's no knowing which geometry they'll use...wether you're on LCD or CRT

did you notice how each displayed scanline in ptoing's pic also seems to alternate between bias for yellow and bias for red? These emergent color properties, and those random curves of color that seem to emerge are what interests me the most.

Ptoing, you think you can post the pixelart version of that C64 piece? maybe we can figure out what pixel array method it used....I'm betting on shadow mask  :crazy:, 'cause of the yellow/red bias
I wonder if arcades have a standard of using only ApertureGrille or ShadowMask  :mean:
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 04:52:25 pm by Conceit »

Offline skamocore

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #53 on: February 12, 2009, 04:04:17 pm
the piece is by Arachne:

Offline Sqd

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Re: A question about 'Selout'

Reply #54 on: May 21, 2012, 10:02:49 am
take a look on that :
http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=5253.0
comments from Helm and Pkmays are very interesting.

Demosceners used grainy textures, over-used highlighs, cracks and reliefs on walls, and overlapped shapes, no for "adding topographic detail to avoid having large featureless areas that can be hard to shade nicely with few colors" like you said. i never read others artists write something like that. if they used "shape bluffing", it's only for the style and win compos. so, i think "Shape Bluffing" it's a good idea but it's like "selout", it's your invention.

Holy shit.

This topic is taking my world apart. WOW!