AuthorTopic: I'm New Here (Help)  (Read 3366 times)

Offline Sqd

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I'm New Here (Help)

on: May 21, 2012, 06:20:49 am
Hello everybody my name is Miguel.. and I've used to post a loooong time ago as ndeal/miguel in these forums.
I'm trying to get back to pixelling because I'm interested in developing games (again).. If I remember correctly that was the reason why I learned how to pixel. (Using Tsugumo's tutorial a long time ago)

I have been doing some sprites this weekend and I must say I enjoyed it a lot but..

I did a quick check of the forums and i've seen a lot of new techniques that I'm not quite familiar with; A couple of threads regarding banding (What the hell is banding?), a couple of ones regarding selout (which supposedly is an absolute joke (I can't quite understand what is wrong with it?)), advanced AA techniques, shading, color, animation, and palette stuff... WHEW!

So.. I was wondering if someone could link me to any threads regarding these topics.. I dont even know where to start.. searching throws a lot of random topics.

I'm working on something ATM but I'd love to check out these tutorials so I can get this little piece a bit more polished and ask for critique.. I really need more practice.. it's been a while.

Offline Phlakes

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Re: I'm New Here (Help)

Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 06:33:09 am
Best tutorial I've seen so far. I don't have time to go in depth myself, but it should help to look through that.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: I'm New Here (Help)

Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 07:13:16 am
Banding is something that when you notice it, you won't be able to go back..

I can recommend that tutorial that Phlakes posted! It was actually the 2nd time I read it when I really learned about banding, thinking that "hey I know how to pixel quite well" and when I saw the thing on banding it made so much sense.
I guess I had on some level been avoiding banding subconsciously, but now I'm so aware of it that I constantly try to work around it.

Offline Mathias

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Re: I'm New Here (Help)

Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 07:14:52 am
There's this of course.

Offline Sqd

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Re: I'm New Here (Help)

Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012, 09:42:05 am
Best tutorial I've seen so far. I don't have time to go in depth myself, but it should help to look through that.

Wow, that's just what I needed! Thanks a bunch Phlakes.

@Seiseki That makes sense.. I wonder if banding its totally avoidable.. uhm.

Thanks everybody!

Offline Helm

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Re: I'm New Here (Help)

Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 10:42:03 am
Hi, nDeal/miguel/SQD, I remember you! I hope everything's going well in your life.

Please read the Ramblethread too (stickied in general discussion), if you have the patience. I don't like how half of it is written, but I still stand behind the general concepts, which probably says a lot as it's... old, now. Years old. How did time fly?

Cure's tutorial is very good, it should be mandatory reading, yes!

I see you already searched about selout on the forum. Good on you :)

I am not sure what advanced AA techniques have been developed since you were last around, besides cleaning up overblurry AA because it adds to banding. The only other thing that comes to mind is using dithering along an edge as AA when you just don't have any other colours, but that sawtooth effect is not for everyone...

Palette conservation has been the same as it ever was. Check out PrincessPiledriver's posts for some mad animation technique suggestions.

Offline Sqd

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Re: I'm New Here (Help)

Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 11:01:18 am
Thanks Helm!

I've been searching around.. and there is a ton of new stuff to learn.

I dont think I understand AA absolutely well - After lurking around I saw some incredibly advanced uses for it.. especially some stuff you have posted (if I can recall correctly it was some kind of a green face which you scaled down (?) and re-shaded it) and some examples done by Panda.. uhm.. and a couple more..

ALSO, regarding selout I saw something interesting:

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.

Do you have any more info about this? I always had that problem.. shading smaller areas it's always easier but with some big pieces I did in the past I had trouble shading these "large featureless areas".. is there any info regarding this? I'd love to know a bit more about it.

What the hell is shape bluffing? God, sounds like something i've done in the past.

And finally, any links to the overblurry AA.. I think it's something I've used to do.. i'd like it to stop. :mean: (also a link to that "dithering alond an edge as AA" thing would be incredibly useful)

Offline Sqd

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Re: I'm New Here (Help)

Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 11:36:54 am
Ok, i've found some stuff on banding.. Pretty neat stuff. (http://www.pixel.schlet.net/)

After looking to the edit you did to Derek's Yu sprite i'm not absolutely sure if the anti-banding technique get's rid of ALL issues.. also I have been reading quite a bit on dithering and the "styling" uses for it, pretty neat stuff, I remember using that technique quite a bit.. not sure if done correctly but I've used it to fill up empty areas.

Also, something I haven't seen in the forums is.. "stylish shading".. (Help me coin a better term) and that's something i've learnt from Jawsh (which i think he learnt from Darion) a long time ago and used it a lot.. it should be discussed I think.. or explained.. I will try to talk about it soon.

Still, I would appreciate a link to all the other subjects.. this is helping me out a lot. (Also, sorry for posting this topic in the Pixel Art thread, I was about to upload a sprite but I might do a separate topic for it)
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 11:56:22 am by Sqd »

Offline Helm

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Re: I'm New Here (Help)

Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 12:12:12 pm
I'm not sure what advanced AA you saw me do... I'm not sure I'm doing anything different from before.

On blurry AA that creates banding, look at this animation in your pixel program frame by frame



a. This is just an 1bit shape. As you see there's jaggies.
b. This is AAing that top ridge using a 16 color gradient. That's a lot of colours! The eye can't see any pixels banding at the edges because the gradient's too smooth.
c. But realistically, for most pixel art purposes we wouldn't have 16 colors or whatever for that, we'd have 3-4 or so. Look at how the same perceptual AA creates banding in...
d. These are problems that once the eye sees, they can't unsee.
e. is one solution, where the AA is allowed to 'touch' from each line break, but the pixels are offset in such a way so as not to create doubled staircases.
f. this is another solution where the image is sharpened up so the lines do not touch. The principles are the same.

Keep this symbol in mind when you're thinking about banding:

It will ward off the evil spirits.

As to 'shape bluffing', I personally do not endorse that term. I think large flat areas are a boon and the artist should not be afraid of them. Complete opaque uniform color is a benefit of digital displays and computers, why should it be hidden? If detail must be added, it should convey actual texture and volumetric shape, not just 'shapes'. Then again, a lot of people like that sort of thing, which I believe is closely related to 'stylistic' types of dither. Ask Ptoing or ilke about that stuff, they know better.

Keep in mind that pixel.schlet mirror is a bit outdated, there's been more posts in the ongoing Ramblethread. Nothing too important but there's some followup, and you can contribute if you want.

Do talk about 'stylish shading', but be wary of inventing cool techniques, it usually doesn't help.