AuthorTopic: Day of the Tentacle art  (Read 16017 times)

Offline Arne

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Day of the Tentacle art

on: May 09, 2009, 04:32:42 pm
So, over at vgmaps they have the Day of the Tentacle screens / environments (warning, long page, I've used an anchor so it should scroll down). I think the stuff looks gorgeous. I had this game for Mac many years ago but lost it.

Judging by the slight hue shifts in the aliasing and gradients, it seems like they have indexed the images. I'm guessing they painted them then cleaned them up. There's a lot of very clean areas without any noise, and many edges are nice and crisp. I think this reduces the clash between the interactive characters/items and the background. In some other games the backgrounds have been kind of blurry.

I'd love to see the character / animation sheets, and 'the making of' material. Is there any?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 04:34:22 pm by Arne »

Offline ptoing

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Re: Day of the Tentacle art

Reply #1 on: May 09, 2009, 04:52:46 pm
Chances that this stuff has been done with Deluxe Paint are rather good. There seems to be autoaa and stuff like smudging going on in several places. I reckon the images have not been indexed but were painted indexed.

It's possible that they were done as pencil drawings and then scanned and coloured in/cleaned up, but I don't think that they were scanned from coloured sources and then cleaned.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Arne

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Re: Day of the Tentacle art

Reply #2 on: May 09, 2009, 06:32:33 pm
I didn't mean paint traditionally and clean up, I meant, perhaps using a pencil sketch as base/ref, they painted it digitally in 24bit (possibly scaled), indexed. But I was stuck in a modern Photoshop mindset there. I don't know why, because I played the game back in the day.

I don't remember ever using the smudge/blur tool in DP, but now when you mention it, there might have been one. I'm not familiar with an 'auto antialiasing' tool though. I suppose these aa tools would throw hues into the gradients (closest match).

The game is older than I thought. In 1992-1993 when the game was probably produced, DP was still king (the 256 colors capable Amiga 4000 (aga) came in 1992). Yeah, I'm inclined to agree, these may have been made at 1:1 in index mode, although possibly based on a scanned sketch, because I suspect that game was at least storyboarded on paper.

I've seen some older games which have attempted a similar style, but it hasn't quite worked because of haphazard composition, low color count and excessive widepixel jaggies due to all the angles (making details hard to read).
http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/430/Black+Cauldron,+The.html

I tried turning the DotT stuff into 16 color widepixels and it's actually not that bad for the less detailed screens.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 06:39:02 pm by Arne »

Offline crab2selout.png

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Re: Day of the Tentacle art

Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 08:08:54 am
I like how even when they could've easily done some simple palette swaps to save  time, like with the roof screens for past and present, they still went ahead and made every screen unique for each time period. DOTT was a real notch up in quality from the artists for their adventure games. I'm pretty sure the first two monkey islands were also done in dpaint, but DOTT was when they first really captured the pixel asthetic. Full Throttle came out really nice, too, and I believe The Dig was  made in a 3d program, but in game the screens were actually snapshots like many of the early playstation games like the resident evils and final fantasy 7. Anywas, DOTT is one of those many examples of game art that can't possibly be done in 3d. The artists take many liberties, for example with the perspective, and while not necessarily "correct," it fits so perfectly with the game's atmosphere that you wouldn't want it any other way. Hoagie shimmying up the chimney to the roof makes sense in a world where everything looks like a funhouse mirror.

Yeah, so, DOTT is definitely my favourite adventure game. I'm not sure what could possibly top a game where you cryogenically freeze a hamster in a hotel ice machine, because flushing it down a time toilet would be too cruel :P


« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 08:15:04 am by crab2selout.png »

Offline Scribblette

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Re: Day of the Tentacle art

Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 02:23:07 am
Hrm, I seem to not be using the search function right... is there anywhere around here where I can learn all about indexing - what it is, what the advantages are, how to make the most of it and how it can save time, or some such?
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Offline Arne

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Re: Day of the Tentacle art

Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 10:07:28 am
Well, they probably used it back then because 24bit stuff was difficult to do on the existing hardware.

However, as a painter, I've noticed that sometimes when you get a bit too playful with hue shifts and gradients, it can be a good idea to reduce the amount of colors (use a small indexed palette). This flattens and simplifies things.

I don't think I would like to paint in indexed mode though, at least not in Photoshop. I'd rather make a palette with certain key colors, but paint in 24 bit, then index when I'm done. This way I'd only lose fidelity in the minor gradients.

---

Background related: animationbackgrounds.blogspot.com/

It's interesting to see how they block off / frame the environment. In an adventure game, you probably want to block off the bottom and top so you don't have to distance scale your character. Black silhouettes are often used at the bottom, whilst portals to the next screen can be used at the top and sides.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 10:14:32 am by Arne »

Offline ptoing

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Re: Day of the Tentacle art

Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 10:21:22 am
There is no such thing as indexed painting in Photoshop. For indexed painting you need something like DPaint, Brilliance or more recently Promotion or Grafx2.

The thing is that with index painting you still have to set your whole palette yourself, but things like autoaa exist which then take some choices away from you by placing aa colours between jagged edges which the program think fits (within the palette you choose).

Depending what you do index painting can be quite fast and useful, for example if you work for a game with a set palette which does not have that much focus on pixelart (doom or quake for example).
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Arne

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Re: Day of the Tentacle art

Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 04:34:57 pm
Well, that depends on how you define painting. There's just no tool (that I know of) for blending colors in Photoshop when in indexed mode. You can still do brush strokes, but you'll probably have to do the blending manually, and if you have a big palette that's not very practical.

For Doom, Quake and 256 color stuff I'd paint in 24 bit but color pick from the palette. Index down when ready, the clean up that if necessary.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Day of the Tentacle art

Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 11:23:07 pm
Yup, you can do that of course, but it is not really optimal. Both quake and doom have pretty much very straight ramps of 16 colours and some shorter ones for special stuff (like the fullbrights in quake). In the programms I mentioned you can do smudging in indexed mode (since those programs were done with just 8 bit palettes in mind).

Here are a few examples of old quake textures I did in Promotion using paintmodes like brighten/darken, soften (blur pretty much), blend (smudge kinda) and also autoaa most of the time. Doing this kinda stuff in Promotion is quite a bit faster than in Photoshop I would say, tho sometimes it is easier to get a nice base texture done in PS and then index that, but from there I would use Promotion as well.






There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Scribblette

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Re: Day of the Tentacle art

Reply #9 on: May 12, 2009, 12:27:29 am
Sorry to side-track at all, but I'm still puzzled about what indexing is. So one works with a limited palette, and in Graphics Gale or Promotion, one reduces the colors in the palette down to just the limited few. Then (a) there is the option to turn on anti-alias (in Promotion, anyway) and it picks the most appropriate colour to anti-alias with as you draw. Is this automatic anti-aliasing within the palette actually what 'indexing' is, or is there something else to it? Is indexing instead (b) having a flat colour ramp to aid in the automatic anti-aliasing process or some such instead?

I'm confused then when someone mentions 'then index down' or some such. Did that just mean reduce colours used, or some such? *confused*
Now reading: Animator's Survival Kit, Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, Fun With A Pencil. No time to pixel!
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