AuthorTopic: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.16  (Read 42677 times)

Offline NaCl

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Re: Catch As Cat Can Mockup.2

Reply #10 on: March 02, 2009, 12:40:11 am
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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
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Probably cause I think it's some standard and shouldn't be deviated from

It's not... deviate.

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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 »