AuthorTopic: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.16  (Read 37325 times)

Offline xhunterko

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Catch As Cat Can Mockup.16

on: February 10, 2009, 06:49:02 am
First off, I would like to apologize to any members whom I may have ticked off recently. I don't mean to be rude on here and have a bad attitude. I am sorry for my behavior as late and hope to make amends with this apology. I would also like to thank anyone who tried to help me on the other thread. I really appreciated your responses.

It's tree again pixelation


New Forest


Pause a bit
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/forestcat.png

Palette Change


New Edits



Level Design help
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/shorecatnonmarked.png
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/shorecatmarked.png

Someone stop me before I make more slimes and lose focus.
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/happyspring.png

Like so?
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/blobcat.png

Testing
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/mousecat.png

Level1
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/cavecat.png

Too Much?
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/catchascatcanplay.png

Hue?
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/cathue.png

From Crit
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/catcrit.png

Bored
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/catsolid.png

Another Quickie
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/catnext.png

Quick Update
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/cat5.png

Updated
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/cat4th.png


text warning
Well, I decided to take a break from pixel art for a while and not do anything. Then I worked on a small MMORPG parody comic I've been working on in the background. Then I went to the community programming site I use and see that they had started a Mini game competition. (One of the games was a cat killer game. So that had something to do with this as well.) Since I did not have enough time in my work schedule to make one, and learned about it a few days late. I decided to do a mockup. (Technically, my new avatar came first really.)

Since one of my comic characters is a cat. I wondered what kind of game certain cat activities would make. Since they like to catch small, edible critters, I based the game play on that premise. I turned it into a platform style game and came up with this little bit here.



I tried to keep it a little cute and smallish. The player would then wander about the levels catching fish, mice, birds, and fighting off other cats in a limited amount of time. The player would have 9 lives, take damage when in water, and increase health every time they caught something. (They would also always land on their feet.)

I also tried a walk animation. The head and tail are easy enough to fix. What I do not like is how the legs look. They seem too jerky and look like they could use some more frames. But I'm not sure what to do there.



I tried to pick a light source on this one. I think the tiles are okay though. I'd also like a little help on the jumping fish. Did I do any better here? Or do the same crits still apply?

Comment and critique please
Thanks in advance

(Working on status bar and other tiles atm.)
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 01:08:08 am by xhunterko »

Offline Aimsworth

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup

Reply #1 on: February 11, 2009, 02:46:17 am
In reguards to the cats motion, it looks really stiff and jerks around a lot.  I think some issue might be in trying to either stay in the style you have setup (instead of getting to realistic) or that your frames are all mid motion.  There are probably 2 possible ways to approach fixing the animation.  Either tone down the range of motion (same number of frames, but make it appear that the cat is moving slower).  Or you need to increase the number of frames.  Anything else and you are going to pickup the jerky motion.

Did a quick google image search, found some refs you might want to take a look at:

Cat Running:

Dog Walking:

Not a cat, but the range of motion is about the same for your animation I believe

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup

Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009, 03:31:27 am
Hey there!

Thanks for finding those! I think, however, that the main order is more frames. I'm gonna have to look at those a bit and see what I come up with.

Offline Shrike

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup

Reply #3 on: February 12, 2009, 11:46:27 pm
Hey, you're improving.

I had a super-long critique and edit written up, but my compy crashed and nothing got saved.
Things to look at:
The sun isn't yellow, it's white.  I know you want cartoony style, but you can achieve that without the yellow; A matter of personal opinion, but whatever the case don't shade the sun.  If it's something super bright, it wouldn't be shaded, would it?
Lay off too heavy shading for the clouds, and for a consistent look make it your generic blobby cloud.
Cat is good, but you have some unnecessary  colors going on; also, the tail should have the same lightsource as the rest of the cat's body.
Ugh, I'm sorry, I really have to do something and I can't post the rest; here's the edit, take what you will from it:

Pretty bad, I'm aware the dithersmoothing on the sun rays doesn't work but I don't have time to fix.
Happy pixels!
Shrike

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup

Reply #4 on: February 15, 2009, 02:27:29 am
Hi shrike!

Sun: trying to keep a consistent light source. Ah well. (wait, if that's the source, uh, ya, why is it shaded?)
Clouds: Rats, I like what you've done with the outlines there. Gonna be tricky to keep it un-pillowshaded.
Cat: I really didn't notice the tail! Thanks! He's supposed to have stripes. Probably reason for extra colors. Any hints on how to do stripes?

Anyways, I just have to say, I love that edit you did. I wish my code program would let me do something like that with the sun rays. But I don't think its possible sadly. (Well, maybe.) How'd you separate the water from the sky like that?!

Anyways, thanks again. I'll have to look at this some more.

Offline Shrike

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup

Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 04:11:09 pm
No problem!
Yes, it ought not to be shaded.  Keep it looking bright!
This is true, just go minimal on shading for the clouds and shade in the light source of the sun.
Yes, you would need a lot more contrast to get the stripes to show at this size, like this:

Couldn't help myself, cats are too fun to animate.   :D
If you plan on animating you cat with an idle animation, then look at what I posted before if you so desire.  I didn't finish it, I have other stuff to do, but I may finish for an avatar!
Grass was removed for clarity.
So yeah, glad you liked my edit, just keep trying and you'll get there!

EDIT:
By the way, you said you couldn't do the sun rays with your code program; aren't you just making a still mockup, or are you actually making a game?  Also, what do you mean by:
Quote
How'd you separate the water from the sky like that?!
  I'm making these in MSpaint and Graphics Gale, are you asking me how I did it visually or technically?  I'm using a drawing program not a code program.   :)

Keep it up!
Shrike
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 04:15:20 pm by Shrike »

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup

Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 07:34:17 am
I tend to like to update responses with results. So here goes.



Every time I tried to look at your edit and draw clouds, I got the most disasterous pieces imaginable. So I closed it and that's what I came up with. I tried to not make it look like your edit, and I hope I succeeded. I redid the cliff and grass a bit. Just don't see how one color is all that's needed. I redid the sun as well. I'm also pretty sure that I have the cats tail and stripes fixed now too. What do you think so far?

See, the point of this mockup was to see if I could make this into a game. There was a mini compo at an Indie community site that I'm part of and didn't have enough time to participate. So I'm making this mockup to make up for it sort of. If I do get this finished. I most certainly would love to make it a game.

About your sun rays though. To achieve that effect would require some expertise that sadly I do not acquire.

So, more CnC please?

Offline Shrike

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup

Reply #7 on: February 18, 2009, 03:48:00 pm
Good progress!
The new cloud is much better; I did mine in sort of weird way.  :lol:  If you want a cartoony style don't follow mine lol, I mean you could but something like the below images would be good.  Vary yours from mine stylistically if you want, do your own thing and make it your art.

Different cartoon styled clouds:




And more obviously but just to give you an idea.
If you want to continue with what you have, I would make the shading on the cloud you made still less prominent, and give it some AA as I did in mine, but otherwise it's great.  Make variations, don't just downsize it and make it darker as that looks sloppy.
Sun rays:
Ah, ok.  Well, the only way to 'acquire' those skills would be to try.  Do you have MSN or YIM? I can make some tutorials for you (videos) if you want to learn AA and the grass and the sun rays and such, although I could just post them here.  It might help you to see how I work.

One thing I think you need for this mockup is depth for the sky; the two ways to achieve that (that I know of) would be:
A) Shade the sky.  like so:  http://www.photoschau.de/images/20060329214426_blue_sky.jpg  Notice how it gets lighter towards the bottom (technically the horizon)?  Use artistic license and make it go darker towards the horizon, maybe like this:

B) The sun rays.  You don't need to get all fancy like I did; just one color will do maybe with some AA.  Might as well try though it's your choice.

Random critique:
My cat animation is more than just goofing around; I fixed up some of your anatomy too.  Look at the position of the legs in my kitty animation, that would be a natural stance (I believe) for a cat.  Where you have the front right (our right) leg is weird and uncomfortable/tight.  Loosen it up, check out some kitty pictures on Google.

Anyway, let me say one thing about the grass then I have to go:
Your tile looks better, but it looks a tad too realistic; simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!  For this style go simple.  Small amount of colors, simple easy-to-read shapes.  Look at my grass;  don't copy it lol, but I used only two colors (In the last image 3 akshully but the third was unnecessary) to shade the grass and two to shade the rock!  Make it more like a happy condominium grass rather than a gritty realistic canyon grass.  Don't copy mine tho.   D:

Anyways I have to go.
Keep it up, see you around!  And let me know if you have MSN or YIM.

Shrike

« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 07:19:33 pm by Shrike »

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup

Reply #8 on: February 27, 2009, 01:59:14 am
Look up cat images on google, he said. Too, many, lolcats...

Anyway, when too much is too much, its time to take a break. I worked on the cat a bit today. I like the back legs the best.  Um, lets see, I have a yahoo account. Does that work? (It'd probably be best to post anything here though. That way, new people can see them.:)

I've been working on the grass a bit. Not quite ready to post that. Thanks for the bit on the clouds and sky though. That should be helpful. Anyways, here's the latest on the cat.



If more games had cats in them, it'd be a lot easier to find examples. -.-

Thanks again.
Any more CnC please?

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup

Reply #9 on: March 01, 2009, 10:45:37 pm
I am absolutely tired of trying to mess with the front legs. The back legs, I think, look fine. The front ones are a pain. I have a backup idea for them though. Which means I'll have to change the stature of the cat and all.

Left: Latest leg work.                  Right: Just having a tad of fun.


While I love shrikes first animated edit, I think the perspective is just a tad off for a platformer. Or maybe it's just me.

So, CnC Please?

Offline NaCl

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.2

Reply #10 on: March 02, 2009, 12:40:11 am
Quote
While I love shrikes first animated edit, I think the perspective is just a tad off for a platformer. Or maybe it's just me.

If you look at any decent looking 2D platformer, they are going to be playing with 3D rotation a bit. If everything is rigidly aligned to be perfectly sideways it looks stiff. I'd have another look at shrikes cat, it looks alive and 3D, not like it got steamrolled. You also seem to be worrying too much about having your work look too similar to other peoples edits... If you're doing that your going to miss the value of an edit, and not learn anything from it.

Now, look at the differences between your cat, and Shrikes. I will point out some stuff for you: Shrikes cat has it's legs aligned in a natural position, in yours the front to legs are spread and the back two legs are close together. This is not a natural position for a cat to stand in. Shrike rotated his cat slightly so that the back legs would be visible, even though they are aligned. This is a better way to solve the invisible back leg problem then just skewing the legs around until you can see them. In Shrikes cat, the head is not just an oval, but has a good shape, and a nose and such. Also, it is slightly turned so that the cat looks more 3D.

I see the same problem with this cat that I did with your old stuff, you're not thinking about the pose of the thing. Look at a real cat and tell me if he stands with two of his legs far apart and two close together. Unless he is crippled or something, he won't. Also look at the anthropomorphic cat, why do you keep making legs skewed out from each other at 45 degree angles? Get up right now and tell me if it is comfortable to stand like that. Also, you're still using very saturated colors. It looks like most of them are 80+ saturation, with a few random colors dropped below that.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.3

Reply #11 on: March 02, 2009, 03:25:08 am
Hm, perhaps something like this?



Thanks for the crit on, Laser Kitty (lets call him), even though I wasn't looking for a crit on that one. Not sure about the 45' angle thing. Probably cause I think it's some standard and shouldn't be deviated from. I dunno. I think I veer away from other people's edits because then it wouldn't be my sprite. Would it? Plus, people are fairly ticked off when you use their edits as a base. So that' another reason probably. About the colors. I think Shrike said something about making them more saturated to stand out in a small piece like this somewhere.

On the cat. I made two differences because I changed the structure of the first one just a tad. Which I like fairly well. I think I have the legs correct though. Is that heavy dark shadowing underneath really necessary though? I just did a blank outline here with no shading and such to make it easy to look at. I changed the face around a little to make it stand out. Though I don't know why yet, I want to try anake it a bit larger. But can't get it right for some reason.

More CnC please and ty.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.3

Reply #12 on: March 02, 2009, 07:34:34 am
Quote
Probably cause I think it's some standard and shouldn't be deviated from

It's not... deviate.

Quote
I think I veer away from other people's edits because then it wouldn't be my sprite.

If you copy their edit without understanding why, then it is pointless. However, what I am suggesting is that you look at their sprite, understand how they improved it, and then implement those changes regardless of whether it makes it closer to theirs or not. Living in fear of ticking someone off and making something too close to theirs is going to impede you.

Shrike did not say to make them more saturated, he said to give them more contrast. Saturation is how vibrant (high saturation) or dull (low saturation) the color is. It is a property of a single color. Contrast is how easy it is to differentiate colors, and is a property of multiple colors. The term is meaningless when talking about a single color.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.4

Reply #13 on: March 02, 2009, 08:51:20 am
Here's one shaded and all. I tried to use some of shrikes colors a bit. Here's the result.



Thanks for the tips. I'll see what I can't do about that leg angle or something. This should be easy to read I think. And it should be rotated properly. (Key word being "should".)

What do you think?


(I don't know why, but I seem to shudder whenever I see you post somewhere.) ;)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 08:54:55 am by xhunterko »

Offline Joel

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.4

Reply #14 on: March 02, 2009, 11:20:22 am
I don't visit/post at Pixelation often, but I couldn't help but notice that you are being somewhat stubborn when given critique and advice. You are concerned that people's edits change your work too much and obviously you want to keep some certain style. (Which of course everyone likes to do.) Well you've passed the first barrier of asking for or being appreciative of critique. You now need to learn to take that C+C and use it; to apply it. If your concern is that you are going to lose your own little style, you need to realise that regardless of style, sprites must still make sense and be readable, and that any pixel artist should be able to put their own style on a work while applying C+C given by other talented pixel artists who are kind enough to shed some light on how you might improve your work. Otherwise, you are wasting their time while they try to give help to someone who wants it, but doesn't really want to actually use it.

The sprite itself is not bad at all, but very minimal progress is made on each consecutive edit you make.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.5

Reply #15 on: March 03, 2009, 07:56:50 am
New edits on the right.



but doesn't really want to actually use it.

I think the problem is more of a doesn't know how then doesn't want to use. I'm still generally new to character creation and pixel art in general. Though I know enough to hob slob something together. And from what I've read, there's a certain set of rules that must be followed. Things like all terrain must be 16x16 or 32x32. All characters must fit in certain boundaries or it won't look right. Only 3/4 colors can be used or it won't look right, etc. I don't know what I'm trying to say here. I guess that whenever someone presents something different, or uses strange words that I've never associated with pixel art before. I guess I don't get it or something. Maybe I need to re-look up stuff again and see what I missed. (And throughout all what I looked up. Not once did they mention classical arts or anatomy and other things like that.)

Offline Kcilc

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.4

Reply #16 on: March 03, 2009, 08:05:54 am

The edit I made was actually quite a bit of work, involving a lot of playing around and tweaking over the course of a few days.

here's a few things that I really changed in your piece;

Anatomy
You gotta know your enemy before you can beat it. By the looks of your cat so far, I think it would be a good idea to study what actually makes cats who they are. They have strong back legs to be able to run quickly to both escape and over take. In stark contrast, their front legs aren't so nimble and mostly help with balance and shock absorbency in the front to increase the efficiency of the push from its hind legs. This is all fine and dandy, but these legs wouldn't be able to do anything without the complex bone structure going on underneath them; a single back leg has four main bone structures that work as hinges to enable the leg to move in a way that's both fast and physically possible. The first two on top are bent this way >, and supply a good deal of the push to move the cat, and because of this they have the most muscle on the leg. On down the line you've got the third forth (the forth being the foot) ones which are bent this way <; they provide some shock absorbency, but don't do too much in the way of propulsion so less muscle mass is needed in these parts. The front legs work pretty much the same way. The first two bones are positioned this way <, but at less of an angle then the hind legs, and mostly help absorb the shock of landing on the ground. They are also used to pull the cat forwards, and so they (mostly the top one) do have some nice muscle on them, but again, not nearly as much as the back legs. The third and forth one (the foot again) is just used to absorb more shock.
Now why would we need all of those shock absorbers? the answer is the body. The part that holds all of the organs and junk. Obviously we'll need space to fit all of the intestines, the stomach, the lungs, heart, you get the point. A cat's body is actually all below its spine, so it sinks down almost halfway past the legs to fit everything it needs to function right. Unlike dogs, who have a pretty apparent decrease in size past the ribcage, the cat's body is pretty much the same size all the way from the front to the back.

Have some pictures to figure out what exactly I'm talking about, and get a good grip on the proportions;
http://courses.washington.edu/chordate/453photos/skeleton_photos/cat_skeleton.jpg
http://www.pictures-of-kittens-and-cats.com/images/cat-skeleton.jpg
http://ropanimalhealth.com/files/blank_cat_exteral_anatomy.jpg

The third dimension
The only medium that I know of that really uses all three dimensions would be sculpting. Every other medium needs to produce the illusion of depth to really get a piece to shine. What I see in your cat right now doesn't lead me to think that anything is behind or in front of anything.
Like any sculpture, there will anyways be a part of your creation that will block your view of other parts of it, so you must be very aware of what's in front of, or behind, what you're drawing. This will help a lot with providing a good illusion of depth because it'll be a little bit more like sculpting out your entire creation. How I applied this in my edit; I first stretched its tummy down a few pixels, and while doing that I knew that the legs shouldn't get any shorter, so I sculpted the legs out a bit by making an outline, where needed, with the color just darker than what its tummy was. This enabled the legs to look closer than the body, and kept them the same length (because the fur covers most of the outlines I'm talking about, don't hesitate to ask if you need one without the fur to get what I'm saying).

Shading
There are usually two stages people go through when learning to shade. The first is pillow shading, and then shading towards the light source without much thought about form. Your pieces are more in the second stage from what I've observed in the pieces you've shown so far. Just like everything, this takes mostly practice and trial 'n error to get the right priorities and form. It took me quite a few tries to get the back to look good with the rest of the piece, so don't be afraid to scrap your shading and try again if it doesn't look quite right.

Well, that's all I've got. I hope I've helped in some ways, and if you have any questions on why I did certain things that I failed to mention, please ask.

Hmm I was writing this up when you posted your update, and it seems I've edited the wrong sprite. Oh well, I think my critique can apply to your humanoid kitty a bit too. Also, don't worry too much about restrictions like tile sizes and things like that. They won't help your art improve very much.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 08:08:01 am by Kcilc »

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.5

Reply #17 on: March 03, 2009, 09:03:42 am
"Hmm I was writing this up when you posted your update, and it seems I've edited the wrong sprite."

No you didn't.

That is a lot to go through. I'll have to look over those examples to see if I get a grip on what your saying. I appreciate that your being thorough and explaining such and such while providing an excellent, simple edit at the same time.

Thank you very much.

*takes out reading glasses for second look*


(No, there's nothing wrong with my eyes...I hope.)

Offline Joel

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.5

Reply #18 on: March 03, 2009, 10:31:51 am
I think the problem is more of a doesn't know how then doesn't want to use. I'm still generally new to character creation and pixel art in general. Though I know enough to hob slob something together. And from what I've read, there's a certain set of rules that must be followed. Things like all terrain must be 16x16 or 32x32. All characters must fit in certain boundaries or it won't look right. Only 3/4 colors can be used or it won't look right, etc. I don't know what I'm trying to say here. I guess that whenever someone presents something different, or uses strange words that I've never associated with pixel art before. I guess I don't get it or something. Maybe I need to re-look up stuff again and see what I missed. (And throughout all what I looked up. Not once did they mention classical arts or anatomy and other things like that.)

Rules and restrictions are only there when applicable, when necessary. The reason a lot of pixel art 'rules' existed wasn't because there was a way to define pixel art, it was because of the limitations of earlier computers and gaming consoles. You can see in this board and the Challenge board that sometimes for fun, people will create pixel art that adheres to those rules pertaining to a specific console or graphic mode. Terrain being 16x16 or 32x32 is similar, it's part of how a game engine may function, grid based movement or maybe it is better for memory optimization and cutting down on slowdowns in game creation on older platforms. These give us not quite rules but more-so standards that people like to follow, and in some cases really it's just practical and makes life easier. Like the colours, sometimes a high number of colours just isn't actually worth using and pixel art looks much nicer using less colours, not specifically 3 shades each colour but just less colours in general. This is also again restriction for game development, like if you were creating a 256-colour game (where full rendered Photoshop graphics obviously aren't an option).

Hope that doesn't come off as ranting, just trying to provide some information to help you see that there are only rules because computer/console limitations enforced them, but because of the art that was produced with these limitations there are now standards that help us to identify pixel art, to see how we can push pixels around manually to create effects, to understand what works and what doesn't. I don't mean that pixel art is a mathematical science like drafting/technical drawing/perspective/architecture. The standards are something to keep in the back of your head when working, not something to work religiously by.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.6

Reply #19 on: March 04, 2009, 08:55:04 am
@Kcilc: I think I had something like that in mind but didn't want to try it for some reason I forgot. That crit and edit showed me that I could do something like it. Here's the result:



What I'm trying to do now is get it to look to the left and right and have it sit down. I've been looking at pics and have a slight idea of what to do.

@Joel: "Hope that doesn't come off as ranting,...etc." No your not. Your just clearing up your point of view. There's nothing wrong with doing that. Thank you.

So, what do you guys think?
CnC if you don't mind.

(Uncertain about the, uh, back left leg technique. His left. Right?)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 09:12:14 am by xhunterko »

Offline Shrike

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.6

Reply #20 on: March 05, 2009, 12:34:14 am
Woah, looks like you're getting loads of critique!  Good, good good.  Sorry I wasn't up to date.

I'm not reading through all of these awesome crits yet, but here some critique and an edit on your latest:

Edit:

Crits:
Well, I like your progress.  But you have, in my opinion, too few colors.  For a polished look, at my skill level, I needed a few more.  I also did hue shifting!  Big, important thing.  That means that, even though he's an orange-yellow cat, instead of going brown for the shading, I went a very red direction instead.  It makes it more interesting and keeps people interested.  Also, I gave him more of a stomach, and since he's been rotated we can see that area between his front legs, it's something, it's his belly.  So I drew it there.  You've still got a few side-view things hanging around, look at my edit.  Also, I shaded the neck to show it's depth.  Other stuff, just examine my edit.  Very nice progress, and listen to all the good points given.  Later!
Shrike

EDIT
Big, important thing I forgot.  drop the outlines.  IMHO, it's cluttering it up and hindering your drawing space and drawing the eye too much.  So yeah, that's my opinion.

Offline Kcilc

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.6

Reply #21 on: March 05, 2009, 05:06:59 am
But you have, in my opinion, too few colors.  For a polished look, at my skill level, I needed a few more.
I hate to disagree, but this is absolutely not true. If you can't polish something with four colors, you're not going to be able to polish it with ten. It might look harsh with just four, but that's not the main point of polish. The way I see it, when you polish something, you just go through your piece and remove any unneeded details or stray pixels to keep the piece clean and readable. Color control is an invaluable skill to learn as a pixel artist (or at least, so I've read), and I think that wouldn't be such a good idea to add extra colors to his piece.

Big, important thing I forgot.  drop the outlines.  IMHO, it's cluttering it up and hindering your drawing space and drawing the eye too much.  So yeah, that's my opinion.
I can't help but notice how ironic this statement is; you say the outlines clutter up his piece, but you fail to mention that the stripes you added, while they do add a nice touch, end up cluttering the sprite much more than an outline does, and IMHO push the sprite towards the background. It is good to break away from outlines to improve your ability to make priorities stand out, but when you're making the main character for a game, an outline might be the only thing that can stop your character from blending into the background; there are many ways to get something to stand out, like contrasting hues, simplicity against detail, and stuff like that, but when you've got a lot of things and colors going on in the background, even these can't keep your sprite away from the background.

As for your update, it's looking a million times better. There are still a few anatomical parts that are off, but shrike caught most of them. One thing nobody has mentioned yet, though, is that your cat's ears don't look connected to its head; one way to fix this would to just get rid of the outline separating the bottoms of its ears and head. The lightest shade needs to be even lighter than it is right now to really make a difference on your sprite, and I don't think that the shading on its head works; a cat's head is a little bit like a ball, and the only time the highlight should hug the edge of a surface is when the light source is behind the object, and, as the rest of your piece suggests, this isn't the case. Pretend the ears cast a little bit if a shadow onto the head, and try to shade the top of its head so that it looks more like a ball.

Another thing I notice with the shading right now is that it's too uniform for something as complex as a cat. Your highlight seems to hug the entire edge of your cat which is not good. Let's take Laser Kitty's back leg for instance; it sticks out past Laser's body, and so the highlight would extend down his leg a little bit. Since Laser's body would be slightly obscured by his(?) leg, the part right by the highlight on his leg would be darker than the surrounding area. This is only one place where the light gets jumbled up, and I'll let you figure out how to do the rest of the shading on him.
If you need more guidance, check these out;
http://www.itchy-animation.co.uk/light.htm
http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/art_tut.htm

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.7

Reply #22 on: March 09, 2009, 03:49:20 am
Note to self, re-read before tweaking work.

Left: Some new colors added and changed shading position.
Right: Is this what you mean by hue shifting?


Still having trouble with head. Colors not looking right. I'll have to check some more of that info before I tweak again Kcilc.

Better, worse, your opinions please.
(Otherwise known as CnC*.)



*(Do I really have to type some form of CnC every time? Or do I just need to ask for opinions?)

Offline bengo

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.7

Reply #23 on: March 09, 2009, 05:37:44 am

Here's my edit, here's some hue shifting for you, the darkest is in the purples while the lightest is in the yellows, hue shifting helps a lot when it comes to small pieces, since it helps contrast more. I did one with stripes and one without, it kind of feels like it doesn't even have fur when there's no stripes but here it is for comparison anyway. Make sure you define your light-source, know where your source of light is coming from, in this its coming from the top. Its okay to use reference, never be afraid to, just google up some cats and that will help greatly. I hope I've helped, good luck with your piece. Oh, another thing you want to take into account is the color theory, to sum up red/orange/yellow = warm, green/blue/purple = cold, also consider what color your light source is, we can assume this is coming from the sun and as we know the sun gives off a yellow-ish tint.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 06:05:48 am by bengoshia »

Offline Terley

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.7

Reply #24 on: March 09, 2009, 05:21:53 pm
sorry..
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 11:27:47 pm by Terley »
I've not got anything interesting to type here..

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.8

Reply #25 on: March 10, 2009, 03:27:02 am


@Terley: Erm...erm...uh...Nvm.  :-[

Was gonna say something but I didn't want to sound ungrateful*. Anyways. I thought everyone was tired of just kitty so I worked more on his natural habitat. I tweaked the ground tile a good bit. Color mostly. Then I added a second, larger cloud for more variety. (Going to add maybe another one.) I worked on the fish, added a flower, and a pine tree! Not sure if I have that one right but it looks okay. As for the cat, I think you can see what I changed. I may have to change the shading a bit on the back legs after seeing it in the environment. I tried to touch the sky shrike but couldn't get something to work. The water's okay now I think.  That's pretty much it for now. Did bout 4-5+ hours on it today. Forgot when I started.

Your thoughts, please?
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 11:11:38 pm by xhunterko »

Offline Terley

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.8

Reply #26 on: March 11, 2009, 12:30:31 am
what?  ???
I've not got anything interesting to type here..

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.8

Reply #27 on: March 11, 2009, 04:38:21 am
xhunterko, that was pretty rude. There's a LOT you could learn from Terley's edit. He didn't have to take the time to draw it for you and explain his techniques in such detail; he was doing you a favor. So even if you don't like the edit, be respectful and appreciative.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 04:40:35 am by tehwexxl0rz »

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.8

Reply #28 on: March 11, 2009, 06:06:22 am
If you have good intentions, there is always a way to say something without offending anybody. Unless the person you are trying to talk to is either not understanding, stupid, or a jerk, as well.

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.8

Reply #29 on: March 11, 2009, 08:11:18 am
xhunterco, if you are not respectful for the critique that you're getting, then perhaps you don't deserve help. Remember people here take time out of their day for completely no compensation to give you their in-depth thoughts on your art. There's nothing that annoys me more than to see that being unappreciated.

Offline Shrike

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.6

Reply #30 on: March 11, 2009, 02:45:45 pm
But you have, in my opinion, too few colors.  For a polished look, at my skill level, I needed a few more.
I hate to disagree, but this is absolutely not true. If you can't polish something with four colors, you're not going to be able to polish it with ten. It might look harsh with just four, but that's not the main point of polish. The way I see it, when you polish something, you just go through your piece and remove any unneeded details or stray pixels to keep the piece clean and readable. Color control is an invaluable skill to learn as a pixel artist (or at least, so I've read), and I think that wouldn't be such a good idea to add extra colors to his piece.

Big, important thing I forgot.  drop the outlines.  IMHO, it's cluttering it up and hindering your drawing space and drawing the eye too much.  So yeah, that's my opinion.
I can't help but notice how ironic this statement is; you say the outlines clutter up his piece, but you fail to mention that the stripes you added, while they do add a nice touch, end up cluttering the sprite much more than an outline does, and IMHO push the sprite towards the background. It is good to break away from outlines to improve your ability to make priorities stand out, but when you're making the main character for a game, an outline might be the only thing that can stop your character from blending into the background; there are many ways to get something to stand out, like contrasting hues, simplicity against detail, and stuff like that, but when you've got a lot of things and colors going on in the background, even these can't keep your sprite away from the background.

As for your update, it's looking a million times better. There are still a few anatomical parts that are off, but shrike caught most of them. One thing nobody has mentioned yet, though, is that your cat's ears don't look connected to its head; one way to fix this would to just get rid of the outline separating the bottoms of its ears and head. The lightest shade needs to be even lighter than it is right now to really make a difference on your sprite, and I don't think that the shading on its head works; a cat's head is a little bit like a ball, and the only time the highlight should hug the edge of a surface is when the light source is behind the object, and, as the rest of your piece suggests, this isn't the case. Pretend the ears cast a little bit if a shadow onto the head, and try to shade the top of its head so that it looks more like a ball.

Another thing I notice with the shading right now is that it's too uniform for something as complex as a cat. Your highlight seems to hug the entire edge of your cat which is not good. Let's take Laser Kitty's back leg for instance; it sticks out past Laser's body, and so the highlight would extend down his leg a little bit. Since Laser's body would be slightly obscured by his(?) leg, the part right by the highlight on his leg would be darker than the surrounding area. This is only one place where the light gets jumbled up, and I'll let you figure out how to do the rest of the shading on him.
If you need more guidance, check these out;
http://www.itchy-animation.co.uk/light.htm
http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/art_tut.htm

Wow, thanks!  I appreciate the critique, and I hope I didn't mislead xhunterko too much.  I guess I made a pretty bad edit.  Sorry about that, and thanks Kclic for catching me.  I always manage to screw up and edit for someone.
One thing bugs me about what you said though. 
Quote
I can't help but notice how ironic this statement is; you say the outlines clutter up his piece, but you fail to mention that the stripes you added, while they do add a nice touch, end up cluttering the sprite much more than an outline does, and IMHO push the sprite towards the background. It is good to break away from outlines to improve your ability to make priorities stand out, but when you're making the main character for a game, an outline might be the only thing that can stop your character from blending into the background; there are many ways to get something to stand out, like contrasting hues, simplicity against detail, and stuff like that, but when you've got a lot of things and colors going on in the background, even these can't keep your sprite away from the background.
I disagree, if one is skilled enough you can still make the character pop.  An outline, I think, although maybe stylistically appealing, is never necessary. In this case, if you want an outline at least make it black or white so it does it's job better; otherwise, in this case, I think having the outline a little bit darker than the body does not work and doesn't give you the most 'bang for your buck'.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that, the way he was using outlines was not the most effective, and to build skill getting rid of them might be better.  He could have done them better, I could have, actually, but I was doing the edit rather thoughtlessly, so I opted to get rid of them rather than trying to improve them.  You are a far more talented pixel artist than me, so what I'm saying isn't totally a tried theory.  And don't think I don't appreciate your critique.  I'm very happy I got it. 
But if this turns into a back and forth let's move it to a different forum.  Are you looking for that, or are you interested?

Sorry for taking so long.  And sorry for the OT as well.

xhunterko:
Don't be rude.  His edit is amazing and you could learn a lot from all of us, him especially.  He's a very talented and experienced artist.  And what Helm said is true (of course, it's Helm), we are all taking a lot of time out of our lives so you might get better, which you have.  I hate to see all of this good critique go to waste, and I would not like to feel like my time, which much of has been spent helping you, is not being used to better someone's skill.  Please do not be inconsiderate.  This forum is here for your benefit, don't abuse it.

Shrike
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 02:50:43 pm by Shrike »

Offline Helm

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.8

Reply #31 on: March 11, 2009, 03:14:06 pm
Quote
And what Helm said is true (of course, it's Helm)

Please, spare me the ass-patting. I hope when I'm wrong Pixelation users will correct me and such deifying attitudes do not help establish this sort of relationship. I am here to learn like anyone else.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.8

Reply #32 on: March 11, 2009, 11:10:26 pm
Oh-kaaay.

Can we put away the torches and picks for a moment while I try to explain myself a little better and rationally?

*waits...okay*

First off, I apologize to Terley. I did not mean to cause misunderstanding and confusion on his/ other people's parts. I was going to say something about the edit looking like a textured embossed version. Also that it was a style that I didn't much like or think would be effective for a game or something. Which would sound like me criticisizing his teaching methods and would sound ungrateful for him helping. I thought it best to not say anything since I get myself in more trouble then if I do. After looking at it again though. I found it to be very useful and was going to say something about it. Then I noticed Terley's post after I updated and had in mind to post a reply after I got off work today.  What I didn't realize was how out of context what I said was taken and that I should've been more clear regarding Terley's edit. I had no idea it would be run away with like a wild-fire.

Secondly, I apologize to anyone else offended or mislead by my comment. I had no intention to personally attack or judge Terley in any way. I was merely going to say I didn't like the way he did things but thought better of it. Thinking, again, that it sounded calouse or ungrateful. I would also like to agree with Helm's above statement. Since none of us have no idea when we're sounding like that. I would also like to thank him for trying to keep this thread under control. I'll let the admins decide on what to do with this post. If they think I missed saying anything or anything more needs to be said, then please let me know. In any case, I don't think that I'll be posting here again for a good while. At least until things calm down.

*wording in the above offensive post has been changed*

Best regards,
Xhunterko

Offline Terley

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.8

Reply #33 on: March 11, 2009, 11:41:41 pm
Whats with all the hubbub? Fine you don't like my edit I'll remove it  ;), you need to understand that everyone works differently even if you don't like my style im sure you could still take some of what I said and advised into consideration. Criticism is simply termed as opinions on something expressed for open discussion, what you do with it is up to you.

Christ, stop chatting and get pixellin will ya :D there's plenty still to be worked on.
I've not got anything interesting to type here..

Offline Mathias

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.8

Reply #34 on: March 12, 2009, 12:08:39 am
At least he's progressing. I await more progression from you, xhunterko. Like Terley says, chill and just pixel.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 01:23:48 am by Mathias »

Offline Helm

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.8

Reply #35 on: March 12, 2009, 07:42:46 am
Quote
In any case, I don't think that I'll be posting here again for a good while. At least until things calm down.

Yes there's no need for any subsequent drama, nor for you to get outa Dodge. Keep pixelling.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #36 on: March 13, 2009, 09:30:10 pm
...Phew.

Tried to work on this real quick before I had to work.



I wanted to do some sort of blue shading but wasn't sure it'd look right.

Um, gotta run.

Your thoughts, please?

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #37 on: March 13, 2009, 10:31:11 pm
The cave BG is a little too busy, kinda hard to tell where the cat ends and walls begin too.
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Offline Emtch

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #38 on: March 14, 2009, 08:30:40 am
The background, wall rocks need to be darker and less saturated, or you can barely see the cat.

Try to swap the colors of the floor rock tile with the background rock tile. It will look much better.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #39 on: March 14, 2009, 08:39:53 am
Ko, this is an intervention. Take a deep breath, then grab the saturation slider and go ahead and move it down. I know this can be scary, but god be damned! Do it.

Offline Dusty

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #40 on: March 14, 2009, 09:05:04 am
Something about the cat seems off-balance... like it's leaning forward. Probably because the lines of the body tend to move lower in the front of the body(as well as the front legs are shorter than the rear).

Offline Terley

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #41 on: March 14, 2009, 02:52:31 pm
Quote
Something about the cat seems off-balance...


I agree, most likely because he's partially camoflauged right now but id see about adjusting the front legs a tad to acomidate for his extremly large head.

And yes you do have some clashing colour issues here, it's ideal to push the backdrop away from the contrast of the characters and props so the user can distinguish what's going on easily. Oh and this might be helpful, a contrast edit for Sabata.

do you not think your character looks kinda lost over this floor,  your floor is too contrasting.

Just look at what happens when you just alter the contrast values less and more. when the characters colour range exeeds the floors darker and lighter tones it stands out much nicer. Looking at the what happens when the floors contrast is way too high gives you an idea that the game would really give you a headache trying to play because it'd be so hard trying to spot the character.

<---- ---->

With control of saturation too it's not hard to push background back extremly effectively.
I've not got anything interesting to type here..

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #42 on: March 14, 2009, 10:00:14 pm
I only just noticed the colors until after I posted it here. I thought at first, ah it won't be so bad. Then I come back and its ick.

I'll see what I can't do about that saturation. I don't know why I keep it like that.

The last cat sprite pic and the hue one are the latest. So it may be just the background thing. If not, then I'll see if I can't come up with anything for that.

Thank you for the tips.

*Goes to move saturation bar to full...ah, don't hurt me!*

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #43 on: March 15, 2009, 06:44:44 am
Re-read again dummy.

Or is this acceptable?



I probably have as much wrong with the mouse as I did the cat. I'll have to play with it more to see if I can't get it desaturated.

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #44 on: March 15, 2009, 07:17:35 am
That's pretty painful to be honest. It's really cutting into the readability of the cat. The mouse is almost invisible too. Tone down that lighest color in the background, and knock the saturation down. Right now it's maxed out. You might want to do something about the floor as well, it's about the same brightness as the cat's paws and so they really get lost down there.

Offline Ai

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #45 on: March 15, 2009, 09:54:03 am
Example edit desaturating some of the background tile colors (and changing the hue and brightness) so the cat stands out much better.
Pretty much like your purple version, except desaturated:


The mouse -- it needs more definition. for example, a black pixel or two separating the leg from the head. Also consider whether its stomach should nearly touch the ground near it's back legs.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Ben2theEdge

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.9

Reply #46 on: March 15, 2009, 01:14:31 pm
Using a purplish-bluish hue is particularly effective because it's opposite on the color wheel from the cat and the foreground. Differences in hue can be used to separate positive and negative space, and value and contrast are also important because they allow precise control over how excited the eye gets when it looks at the image. The more contrasts between light and dark in the image, the more visually stimulating the image will look, and this is a double edged sword. In this scene you probably want the cat to be the most exciting thing on the screen so you should be careful not to have too much contrast in the other stuff (the texture on the rocks, for example, is a little too high-contrast for my taste; you can see the negative effects where the cat's feet are touching the ground; the detail around the cat's feet is more exciting to the eye so the feet themselves are lost.)
I mild from suffer dislexia.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.10

Reply #47 on: March 17, 2009, 12:52:40 am
Is this more like what you mean?



I tried hard on the saturation issue and I think I got it. The cat should stand out now more and be easier to read. Another thing I changed was the cliff side edges. I didn't like the generic straight edge look so I tried to make it seem more natural. I changed the entrance there a bit as well. It seemed to straight to me. Do the add-ons make that much of a difference? And did I get that saturation down as well? I hope so. It seems to stand out to me. I also redid the grass rocks a little to see if it made any difference.


Oh! That blob, thing. Um, I couldn't help it and drew my own jelly critter. I tried to get the bones in there but couldn't quite get that transparent look. I'm gonna try and make it simpler a little bit. And the bones are supposed to be from a recent meal. Hence the drooling.

So, anyways. What do you think?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 12:56:00 am by xhunterko »

Offline Blue22.

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.10

Reply #48 on: March 17, 2009, 04:52:10 pm
Maybe you not think is my edit good but you're picture have that oldschool style  :P

i think you should put highlights on characters becouse their starting to hmmm.... be more visible.
and use highlits on background but don't make background with more light than characters.

sorry about my bad english i realy like to help you.
ps. i change eyes in cat and that ''duck''
Sorry about my english... im not from england so...

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.10

Reply #49 on: March 20, 2009, 06:26:23 am
Hello all, I'm back again.



For this particular piece I was trying to do level layout when it turned out that I didn't have enough pieces. So I made some here and there and then I looked at some more polished 32 bit games. Don't know if that was a mistake or not but now I want to change the level of detail here and there. I toned down the outer layer a bit which had an overall effect. The character, I think stands out much more on the background then it did. Which allows me to add some more detail like the stalag-things and rework the cave background texture. You'll notice that I've got stuff marked around red circles that I'd like help on.

I have an idea for the cave entrance which would remove the stalagmites and just leave the texture to blend in the sky line, like I did earlier. Also, I did a different, um rounding shading on the left stalagmite to see if it looks better. I'm not sure if I should go with a random look to the stalagmites or not, or where to put them and how many. I just went with a random placement that I thought looked natural. I also added some more texture to the floor section so it stands out more on its own yet doesn't compromise the character.

As for the shore line goes, I think its more of a design problem. I've seen some games gradually slope downwards to the bottom and then others just stick a straight edge in the water. I'm not to sure what I should do there in either case.

CnC appreciated

Oh, and Blue22. Thanks for the edit. I'll have to look at that "duck" (it's actually supposed to be a slime, hence the bones, oh well.). Thanks again.

Offline Dr D

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.11

Reply #50 on: March 20, 2009, 07:04:02 am
Well first, I think you're overdoing it with the stalagmites/stalatites. Just a few here and there should be enough. They also take up too much space separately, and touch, which makes things seem very cluttered. I suggest you make them smaller all around. The shading could be worked upon, I don't suggest either of the ways you are currently doing it. Perhaps something sort-of in-between. I would shade them only slightly as a cone, but to defeat that whole gradient look, add some ridges and hard edges to make it seem natural and fitting.

If you're going with the hard-edge type thing for your tiles, then I recommend you just cut the shoreline off, make it go all the way down. Otherwise, make some transition tiles, a few curved corner pieces, and plenty of detail to make things transition naturally, and seamlessly. You'd need to do this all around as that's how you have it pretty much everywhere right now. It's a lot of work, but if you do it correctly it will be worth it.

Something about the perspective seems off to me, as well. Inside the cave, the floor looks kind of tilted, yet at the top the grass seems flat. At least that's how I've seen it up until now.

Offline Ai

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.11

Reply #51 on: March 20, 2009, 07:24:58 am
STOP!
Before you go any further, calibrate your monitor!
For LCD screens:
http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/

Earlier in this thread, I suspected that your monitor calibration was messed up and that was contributing to your color problems, and your latest picture (with the nearly invisible green in the rock/dirt tiles) has cemented this idea in my mind.  In particular, I suspect the Contrast on your monitor is far lower than it ought to be, and the Brightness might also be misadjusted. If you have an LCD monitor, the above link should help.

Calibrating your monitor correctly will make it far more likely that we'll see roughly the same colors you saw when you were picking them.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.11

Reply #52 on: March 21, 2009, 04:27:41 am
Hello there!

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I have a monitor that applies to that. See, I'm using a laptop. I don't think I have any settings that control some instances like that. The most I have is color count, screen resolution, and that's it. Oh, I also have a brightness adjust function. It's all the way up as well. I don't know if there's another way to check for laptops. I'll try some looking to see if I can't come up with anything. Do you have any info about calibrating laptops?

Thanks again.

@Dr D: I only noticed the grass perspective when you pointed it out. It does seem a bit odd and I'll try and fix it. I should've figured that stalagmites should only hang from the ceiling, if there is a ceiling to hang from. And I'll probably use the sloping style since I want to increase the detail level a bit more. Thanks :)

Offline Ai

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.11

Reply #53 on: March 21, 2009, 10:27:50 am
Hello there!

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I have a monitor that applies to that. See, I'm using a laptop. I don't think I have any settings that control some instances like that. The most I have is color count, screen resolution, and that's it. Oh, I also have a brightness adjust function. It's all the way up as well. I don't know if there's another way to check for laptops. I'll try some looking to see if I can't come up with anything. Do you have any info about calibrating laptops?
Urgh, no. Chances are there is very little you can do -- laptop screens have notoriously poor color reproduction. :( Basically the only thing you can do that you haven't already said you did is make sure that  the laptop screen is exactly flat-on relative to the angle you typically look at it from.



If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.12

Reply #54 on: March 23, 2009, 11:16:52 pm
Latest


I'm trying to not clog the forums with repeats. But anyways, raise your hand if you love drawing grass tiles!...*crickets*. Okay, heh, um, here's what I've done so far. I tried to rework the grass to try and give it a perspective and to make it stand out a bit more. I don't like how my shore line is turning out so I may just redo that entirely.

As for the cave entrance. I noticed that some games tend to forget that a hole does not mean a complete end of terrain. So I tried to add another side with some grass for detail. I tried a little shading on the stalagmite and I don't like it. I'll probably have to look for some on here somewhere.

Some minor bits are the sun and laser kitty. I tried to keep the sun a bright color but had trouble keeping it visible. On laser, I did a rework on his legs and other areas.

Your thoughts?
CnC please.

Offline Ben2theEdge

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.12

Reply #55 on: March 24, 2009, 01:42:42 pm
I recommend that you think of drawing grass in clumps instead of individual blades. The reason is that real grass doesn't grow one blade at a time:


If you look up close at grass of course you see lots of blades, but try stepping back from the monitor a foot or two and you'll start to see clusters and lumps of grass instead of just individual blades, even when all the grass is about the same length.
->

You can apply the same methodology to the dirt. Don't try to draw a bunch of individual "pieces" of dirt and stick them together, instead step away and look at the whole thing. The whole is not always just the sum of its parts.


Here's a quick edit to illustrate... keep in mind that I only spent a few minutes on this so it isn't perfect!
« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 01:48:24 pm by Ben2theEdge »
I mild from suffer dislexia.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.13

Reply #56 on: March 24, 2009, 08:12:42 pm
Hope this isn't over or under doing it.



I played around with the contrast of the cat a little. The shore line is still wip though I kinda like where its going. I notice there's a cutoff point there that I need to fix. I hope you don't mind but I swiped your palette. Hopefully I've achieved the correct look. Other then the changed grass tile that's bout it that's new. At least I like the new grass now.

CnC please.
Thanks.

Offline Ai

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.13

Reply #57 on: March 24, 2009, 11:26:32 pm
That's a great improvement, the new grass is great, has a lot of style.
You could experiment more with different rock shapes -- remember the rocks are 3d, not 2d, so you can express quite a lot more aspects of rockiness than you do currently, similar to the amount of difference between your old grass and new grass.

Here's a little edit with some suggestions for the grass growing at the edge of the cave.

There is a little exaggeration going on here but I think it's somewhat more realistically lit.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.14

Reply #58 on: March 26, 2009, 07:25:13 am
Hey there! Thanks for the edit. I'll have to rework that a bit. In the meantime, I'm pausing that to work on a forest level a bit.

http://www.majhost.com/gallery/rob/new/forestcat.png

I always hate doing trees. But I like how these turned out. Even though I have no leaves, or a root system yet, I kinda like 'em. I don't know if I lost the light source or not, but it looks okay. Um, main things.

light source on trees
changed dirt tile coloration for new level
added third cloud variation
would like help with leaves, tree texture, wondering if I should change/add to the grass texture for this level, and the branches, those are bothering me still

Sorry for jumbled, late, tired.

CnC please
Thanks
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 02:43:02 am by xhunterko »

Offline NaCl

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.14

Reply #59 on: March 26, 2009, 07:46:32 am
Do you like wildly saturated things? Are you doing it intentionally? You made a baby step with turning down the saturation on the trees, but you still have the sky at a retina burning 98 saturation. If you are doing this intentionally (for whatever reason) then I'll get off it but christ man, just turn it down. It's not hard and it will improve the look of your thing.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.14

Reply #60 on: March 26, 2009, 07:09:42 pm
Cough, eh hem.

Sorry bout the blue. It was just a filler and I guess I didn't check it in time.

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.14

Reply #61 on: March 26, 2009, 09:48:42 pm


. . .CnC please

Walkable ground is iffy; the way you're doing it, it would make sense for Paws to stand on almost any pixel of the grass's height, leaves your user feeling floaty/unanchored, very. I really dislike the lack of cross-section tiles transitioning - below the grass is just a continuous texture--make it darken up a few tiles away from the grass. Yer trees don't really qualify as trees, they're just wiggly brown oddly hollow pillow-shaded pipes jutting straight up with boughs at random that have an opposite light source for some crazy reason (sun is top right, yet lighting is coming from bottom left? are we in china?) - why not have a trunk tile as a base, maybe some vegetation, an attempt at textured treebark, rather than smooth - refer here. Heard of tile variations before? - I know you've seen them--multiple versions of the same tile that can break up repetitiousness. For instance you have one total-tiling dirt tile, make three that are capable of tiling on all sides and plug them in randomly, the clouds look like levitating deflated bags or egg whites - make 'em fluffly, default pure blue bg is annoying, sun seems too prominant like it serves a function - getting rid of the rays could help.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.14

Reply #62 on: March 26, 2009, 11:29:29 pm
"I really dislike the lack of cross-section tiles transitioning":

Wait, wait wha?  ??? I'm not sure what you mean by that. Could you be a little more clear?

"Yer trees don't really qualify as trees, they're just wiggly brown oddly hollow pillow-shaded pipes jutting straight up with boughs at random that have an opposite light source for some crazy reason (sun is top right, yet lighting is coming from bottom left? are we in china?)":

Why does it always take someone else to spot pillow shading?  :-[ Yes, yes we are in china, cough. 

"why not have a trunk tile as a base, maybe some vegetation, an attempt at textured treebark, rather than smooth - refer here. Heard of tile variations before? - I know you've seen them--multiple versions of the same tile that can break up repetitiousness."

Yes I have. However, are you sure that's the correct thread your trying to point to? I'll see what I can do about the shading though. And to think it's spotted just After I finish the newest piece. I'll see what I can do about the clouds. Even though I thought it was earlier agreed that they were generally okay. Got a whisker?

Thanks again.

Offline crab2selout.png

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.14

Reply #63 on: March 26, 2009, 11:33:13 pm
Nice post, ben. I never really thought about grass fields clumping like that. It makes sense if there seems to be a main parent root system with little child offshoots. Love it when people post stuff like that. I really need to start looking for the bigger shapes and volumes in my references.

Thanks much!

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.15

Reply #64 on: March 27, 2009, 03:00:01 am
Retina burning forests removed from my posts to not blind eyes. (Looks at Mathias.)



What I mainly concentrated on here was the tree texture and layout by itself. Not everything's touched up the way it should be but I wanted to put this up before it got later. I have both foreground and background trees going on. With only the lighter trees being used for player interaction. One of my biggest concerns is if I got the leafy section to look right. I tried going with a darker leaf backdrop slightly inspired by a certain mockup here. I'll try to work on the other stuff as I can.

I didn't mean to sound like I was ignoring ben's post. It is a really useful reference and I'll probably look back to it if I should decide to redo my grass. Again.

CnC please.
Thanks much.

(So much for quick post. Stupid ants.)

Offline Ai

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.15

Reply #65 on: March 27, 2009, 04:16:39 am
I like the texturing, it's very retro; the lighting is currently impossible, here's an example edit on part of the tree trunk and the branches.

I think you might benefit from drawing a mesh showing the 3d shape of objects before you shade them -- it prevents you from doing impossible shading, more or less.

some of the treetops are quite believable; the bubble-formations are really unlikely though. Thinning out the leaves in places so the background can show through would be a good improvement IMO.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Mathias

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.14

Reply #66 on: March 27, 2009, 04:34:04 am
"I really dislike the lack of cross-section tiles transitioning":

Wait, wait wha?  ??? I'm not sure what you mean by that. Could you be a little more clear?

"Yer trees don't really qualify as trees, they're just wiggly brown oddly hollow pillow-shaded pipes jutting straight up with boughs at random that have an opposite light source for some crazy reason (sun is top right, yet lighting is coming from bottom left? are we in china?)":

Why does it always take someone else to spot pillow shading?  :-[ Yes, yes we are in china, cough. 

"why not have a trunk tile as a base, maybe some vegetation, an attempt at textured treebark, rather than smooth - refer here. Heard of tile variations before? - I know you've seen them--multiple versions of the same tile that can break up repetitiousness."

Yes I have. However, are you sure that's the correct thread your trying to point to? I'll see what I can do about the shading though. And to think it's spotted just After I finish the newest piece. I'll see what I can do about the clouds. Even though I thought it was earlier agreed that they were generally okay. Got a whisker?

Thanks again.

You're welcome. I learn from this as well you know.



Here I've addressed a number of things. It's funny that Ai just posted - the palette I decided to pull colors from was shown to me by him (her?). Anyway,  it rocks so far. My modified version is wroght with crappy mistakes and problems, it's just for show, it was done too hastily.

-Decent depth achieved in sky with only THREE colors. Gradient is messy, though.
-Clouds given volume and character, imagine them floating by slowly at different speeds, all on their own bg layers. Notice the farthest cloud not using the highlight shade - this and it's scale make it appear further away than others.
-Walkable ground defined with small edit to grass tiles
-Made 3 sets of transitioning cross-section tiles (my own ignorant nomenclature, btw). Despite the obvious tiling problems do you get it now? Your version presents the eye with a depthless plain of monotony, pulling the eye down to bottom of the image, gotta keep the eye where the action is. You could greatly benefit from studying basic design principles, do not underestimate their importance.
-Trees turned into cut off bean stalk things with only a color edit, they seem a little more excusable now.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.15

Reply #67 on: March 27, 2009, 05:08:54 am
Thank you very much! This makes what you were saying much easier to understand. I'll try to work on some of that asap. The edit still looks good even though it was done quickly.

"You could greatly benefit from studying basic design principles, do not  underestimate their importance."

-Unfortunately, no one seems to know where these are written down sadly. Or, they are, and no one's telling anybody. Or they're here somewhere and I'm just completely blind and missing them entirely. (And unless I'm seeing things. Your brown tree edit uses nearly the exact same colors that my new brownish background tree does. What's that palette btw?)

"I think you might benefit from drawing a mesh showing the 3d shape of objects before you shade them -- it prevents you from doing impossible shading, more or less."

-Thank you for the edit. Your shading's a tad subtle but I think I get what you mean. And by 3d shape does she(?) mean an actual 3d model, or blobbing necessary colors around and adding texture later? (I'm guessing it's the latter.)

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.15

Reply #68 on: March 28, 2009, 06:42:22 am
I don't like to not update even when I don't have much. Or something unrelated to what I'm currently doing.



Been toying around style and structure today as a break. Hopefully I'll be able to post more on the backgrounds early next week. In the meantime. That should be something for you guys to chew on.

Enjoy!
(and thanks)

(Forgot to ask for CnC on these. Please and thanks.)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 07:12:46 pm by xhunterko »

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.16

Reply #69 on: March 31, 2009, 01:15:26 am
Hello there, back!

Is this slightly what you guys mean?


I tried not to make the tree look too much like Ai's edit. Hopefully I avoided that. Changed the leaf structure around a little bit and left out the darker parts. I tussled up the grass some more and like the look of that as well. More or less based on ben's suggestion. I also rearranged the ground tiling. I think that covers the repeating tile issue. I haven't messed with the sky as yet or some other stuff as well. But this is what I've been working on. I'm not to sure about the grass. It seems a bit disconnected for some reason.

Let me know what you guys think!
(CnC please, thanks!)

(And if you don't mind, it's not a serious priority right now. But if anyone can comment on the new characters in the previous post that'd be helpful too. Don't mean to be a bother.)

Offline Ai

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.15

Reply #70 on: March 31, 2009, 08:18:14 am
"You could greatly benefit from studying basic design principles, do not  underestimate their importance."

-Unfortunately, no one seems to know where these are written down sadly. Or, they are, and no one's telling anybody. Or they're here somewhere and I'm just completely blind and missing them entirely. (And unless I'm seeing things. Your brown tree edit uses nearly the exact same colors that my new brownish background tree does. What's that palette btw?)
That palette is the new palette for the OHRRPGCE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OHRRPGCE). I made it specifically for that purpose, and it performs well as a palette to color-reduce to, for 95% of pictures tested. I concluded this meant it is both a realistic and flexible palette.

Googling 'basics of graphic design' gets me a number of interesting and useful links.

Quote
"I think you might benefit from drawing a mesh showing the 3d shape of objects before you shade them -- it prevents you from doing impossible shading, more or less."

-Thank you for the edit. Your shading's a tad subtle but I think I get what you mean. And by 3d shape does she(?) mean an actual 3d model, or blobbing necessary colors around and adding texture later? (I'm guessing it's the latter.)
I mean literally drawing a 3d mesh. Imagine that you are a 3d rendering program, and draw the wireframe mesh that makes up that 3d object (roughly. It just needs to capture all major features in 3d space.) Don't pay attention to color, texture, or anything -- you are just drawing lines to define the 3d shape of something. On a separate layer, you can block out the actual object. Once you have that mesh, it's easy to see how a particular part should be lit -- it depends only on the angle between the position of the light and that surface, and the distance between the light and the surface. Some styles even ignore the distance entirely, and still look quite good.

This is really what I mean by a mesh:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire-frame_model

A bit short of time currently, I'll make an edit later showing what I mean if you're still confused.

Currently, your trunk is excellent (it certainly kicks the ass of my edit)! the branches need work (more definition in 3d space)

Re: the characters: If you're not sure about the design of your character, I suggest you work on it with paper and pencil. This method is far superior to pixel art for just playing around with character design.  And then when you've chosen a design, draw the new sprite based on your final design.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 09:59:41 pm by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.