AuthorTopic: First Character  (Read 4359 times)

Offline BrandonD

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First Character

on: June 24, 2009, 11:18:10 pm
Hi everyone, I've been doing pixel-art for a long time, but it's the kind of pixel art that you would only do for money (glitter hearts and animated phrases that say "hot stuff!", etc).

I'd really love to do art for a video game. People have recommended to me that I draw some characters to add to my portfolio, so I made my first pixel-art character today. Here he is:



This took around 3 hours. Just adding that detail because I don't know how quickly game artists normally work. I'm eager to hear your critiques, thanks!

(edit: I intend to eventually animate this character, but I wanted to get some outside input first)

(edit 2: I just read the rules section and it recommends giving details about how the picture was drawn. This was drawn with a mouse in photoshop from scratch, no references or anything. I did a little color manipulation after drawing it. It uses 47 colors.)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 01:09:08 am by BrandonD »

Offline Beoran

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Re: First Character

Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 09:40:30 am


Why so many colors? Less is more. Most of the colors you're using are amost identical, so you don't need them. I reduced your drawing to 16 colors by using the Gimp, and as you can see above, it doesn't really change the look of your sprite. A few colors got munged but not unreasonably so. I'd recommend that you reduce the amount of colors considerably. Also, I'd recommend that you use and edit your images as indexed PNG's with a limited palette, so you don't end up using almost identical colors.

Secondly, I'm assuming you're going for a kind of superdeformed style? Even so, the shoulders seem a bit thin to carry the large, superdeformed head.

For the rest, it looks very nice, actually, I like your style! Keep up the good work ^_^

Kind Regards, Beoran.

Offline saimo

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Re: First Character

Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 12:45:18 pm
Hi BrandonD,

besides the number of colors as said by Beoran, my unexpert eye can spot these problems:
 * banding on the outlines (search this site for an explanation);
 * an overall flatness (probably due to the outlines and the banding) - check out the (lower part of) the legs, for instance;
 * maybe a slightly flawed anatomy (head a bit too large and, perhaps, legs just a tad too short).

I hope this helps.
saimo

Offline BrandonD

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Re: First Character

Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 08:58:31 pm


Why so many colors? Less is more. Most of the colors you're using are amost identical, so you don't need them. I reduced your drawing to 16 colors by using the Gimp, and as you can see above, it doesn't really change the look of your sprite. A few colors got munged but not unreasonably so. I'd recommend that you reduce the amount of colors considerably. Also, I'd recommend that you use and edit your images as indexed PNG's with a limited palette, so you don't end up using almost identical colors.

Secondly, I'm assuming you're going for a kind of superdeformed style? Even so, the shoulders seem a bit thin to carry the large, superdeformed head.

For the rest, it looks very nice, actually, I like your style! Keep up the good work ^_^

Thanks for the comments! I've never heard of Gimp so I'm looking into that program.

Yea I guess I was going for a superdeformed look. I'm not really into the "anime" superdeformed look, but when I was a kid I had a bunch of those D&D metal miniatures and I always liked how they were proportioned - with a large head and small body almost like a child. I also like that with the superdeformed style you can make a character small but still put a lot of detail into the face, which is my favorite part to work on. I think I'll take your suggestion and make the shoulders a little broader.

A question: Why is it recommended to go with so few colors? I agree that changing it to 16 doesn't alter anything drastically, but I don't like that it makes the skin tone and the hair color identical, the gloves and boots become very flat color-wise, and the arrows don't look quite as 3D. Do game makers generally prefer fewer colors?

Offline BrandonD

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Re: First Character

Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 09:15:41 pm
Hi BrandonD,

besides the number of colors as said by Beoran, my unexpert eye can spot these problems:
 * banding on the outlines (search this site for an explanation);
 * an overall flatness (probably due to the outlines and the banding) - check out the (lower part of) the legs, for instance;
 * maybe a slightly flawed anatomy (head a bit too large and, perhaps, legs just a tad too short).

I hope this helps.
saimo

Thanks for the comments :) I looked around and couldn't find a specific definition of banding, but I'm assuming you mean when the shading line and the outline run right alongside each other and it makes the pixel breaks really obvious? I could fix that stuff with intermediate colors, but you and the other commenter were mentioning that I should go with less colors rather than more. I'll try and fix that banding stuff, though.

As for the anatomy, I'm hoping that broadening the shoulders a bit might fix the weirdness of his proportions.

Offline saimo

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Re: First Character

Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 10:07:32 pm
I looked around and couldn't find a specific definition of banding, but I'm assuming you mean when the shading line and the outline run right alongside each other and it makes the pixel breaks really obvious?
Yes, precisely that :y:

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I could fix that stuff with intermediate colors,
You got it right again - that's called anti-aliasing.
I'd say your mindset seems suitable for pixel art ;)

Quote
but you and the other commenter were mentioning that I should go with less colors rather than more.
You see, pixel art isn't just about pushing pixels, but it also requires choosing the palette wisely so that the number of colors is "optimum" - the subject is quite vast and I'm not the best person to teach you this sort of stuff, so I suggest you look around here for "color conservation", "colors choice" and similar subjects.
Anyway, here's a quick hint: colors have to be chosen so that they can be used in a variety of ways and for a variety of purposes. F.ex., don't think "OK, this set of colors here is for the skin only and this other one is for the clothes", but rather try to pick colors that can be used in both contexts (for instance, the highlight color of clothes could be used as a skin tone). Choose color ramps so that they cross: this gives a more "unified" look to the final piece and saves colors.

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As for the anatomy, I'm hoping that broadening the shoulders a bit might fix the weirdness of his proportions.
Actually I think this only would make it worse: the problem, IMHO (and I can't stress "IMHO" enough), is that the head is too big with respect to everything else.

saimo
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 02:22:37 pm by saimo »

Offline BrandonD

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Re: First Character

Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 12:30:08 am
The colors subject is probably something I'm gonna have to gradually pick up on. I mean, I understand the idea of highlights having a certain hue and shadows having a different hue, for example after drawing this character I went in and hue shifted the shadows towards cyan and the highlights toward reddish/yellow.

But the way some of you guys work your color is still kinda baffling to me. It's very impressive!

In the meantime, here is the first basic animation with this character (along with a bit of anatomy modification):



I eventually want to do an animation where he pulls out an arrow and draws it, but I'd like to hear any thoughts on what I have so far.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 12:32:18 am by BrandonD »