AuthorTopic: Anybody have any questions?  (Read 22448 times)

Offline Helm

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Anybody have any questions?

on: November 10, 2009, 03:36:10 pm
I've been thinking about the critique process and how we could attempt new things, so here's one. Does anyone have specific questions about how a specific active artist in the forums does things? If so, why not ask directly and perhaps they'll answer, perhaps someone else will answer, perhaps we'll have a bit of a dialogue. The difference I'm aiming at is between being told something and having asked to be told something. Critique as we do it in the pixel art forum isn't much of a dialogue (though sometimes it is) and I've always thought the learning process works better when it's directed by the one asking to learn. So why not try this? I will - of course - answer any questions directed at me (with examples if I get the time) and if you ask any active mods I'll try to get them to answer (with black sorcery) but other users it's up to their time and courtesy. Let's try to break away from the 'hi here's my art, fix it plz' mode of critique we've been doing for a while, not that it doesn't work, but other approaches also might work.

The more specific the question, the better. 'How do you make your pixel art' begs for a tutorial, and I've attempted something like this before. But here let's be more specific about techniques, styles and processes, right?

Offline CharlesGabriel

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Re: Anybody have any questions?

Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009, 04:32:35 pm
(with black sorcery)

Aha! so that's your secret.  ;D :lol:

Well, I like the sound of this idea, cause I really have a lot questions all the time...  :lol:

...questions to the many veterans which can help a lot to the new / intermediate pixel artists (like me who only has 9 months doing it). As far as help being offered, I personally have learned a lot in overall by just reading other threads, which is something I been wanting to point out in terms of feedback... helping someone with edits and or feedback not only helps the person who's asking, but helps others as well who might have been wanting to know the same thing.

I think that this can help a lot, also what would help a lot would be to make a thread where people vote or request tutorials to be made... for example, there is little to none tutorials about pixel art animation, like fighting characters and other stuff out there... all you find is the same thing over and over, while there are soo many topics and things to know out there that no one really bothers to share. In order to maintain and keep the pixel art community growing I think new pixel artists need to know more about pixel art, and for the most part learning from people who has been doing this for a while, is the way to go.

Lol I hope this doesn't sound too confusing man... as far as me asking directly, I prefer to just make a thread and ask for the specific feedback, since I as pointed out above, I like it to be public so others who might have the same question, be able to benefit from it.  :y:

Offline happymonster

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Re: Anybody have any questions?

Reply #2 on: November 10, 2009, 06:20:35 pm
How often do you moderators use references when pixelling, in comparison to when you first started? Do you find you have 'internalised' a lot of how for example a tree, or grass, or a face would look?

Offline Photocopier

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Re: Anybody have any questions?

Reply #3 on: November 10, 2009, 06:26:05 pm
I think that this can help a lot, also what would help a lot would be to make a thread where people vote or request tutorials to be made... for example, there is little to none tutorials about pixel art animation, like fighting characters and other stuff out there... all you find is the same thing over and over, while there are soo many topics and things to know out there that no one really bothers to share. In order to maintain and keep the pixel art community growing I think new pixel artists need to know more about pixel art, and for the most part learning from people who has been doing this for a while, is the way to go.
I find that the best way to learn lots of things is to discover them for yourself, only by trial and error do you come to understand why techniques are important/better. Don't get me wrong, I think that C+C and advice/help along the way is great and important but an explicit tutorial is only going to teach most people to copy.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Anybody have any questions?

Reply #4 on: November 10, 2009, 07:34:18 pm
happymonster: That totally depends. I think looking at references even (or especially) if you think you know how something looks can help. It helps to prevent you from falling into formulas. Formulas work if you have to get something done or need to work in a specific style. But you should figure those formulas out yourself. And I think it often helps to simplify from nature. So yes, looking at reference when needed is good. I do it.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Jad

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Re: Anybody have any questions?

Reply #5 on: November 10, 2009, 07:49:32 pm
I'll post a little one-liner thing since I wanna reply in here without having to write an essay just cause I'm a mod : D

I use references all the time, I've got such a copycat brain that if I have no input before attempting to do a scene or something I often have to fiddle around a great deal to come up with small details and get proportions at least half right - but if I have some kind of reference to follow I can at least get some general guidelines in how to construct something or make it more realistic and less of a mess made out of the misguided symbols lodged inside of my brain. Heh.

On the other hand things such as 'a tree' have clear clusters of ideas in my brain which enables me to draw it without reference.

Actually I think one of the reasons to why I can do trees is because I made a one page tree-study one day. I just looked at trees around me intensely and drew them, I even drew from reference outside the the window of a speeding train - it was the ultimate lazyass studies, but man, it expanded my brain.

Thus I'd rather go to England and draw green lush fields for a week than google 'fields' and the like in google image, but hey, can't have everything. But if you're ambitious about your art then by all means do that or something like it - real life studies give you lots of internal reference.

But anyways, I've internalized most of the things that are within my comfort zone, I think.

On the other hand my comfort zone is small and sucky.

Soo I have to use lots of references when not drawing things that are either girls, robots, jellies or both. I mean all of them.

Haha, photocopier, great to hear from a guy with your name that you should copy less and explore more yourself, haha!

Anyways I dunno, it depends on the person I guess? I think that other people's edits of your own images can take you much further than just reading a tutorial - the feedback is the thing that separates them.

You can copy from a tutorial all you want, and the only feedback you get is the feedback you give yourself and that can be anything from awesome to supersucky depending on your self-confidence and experience.

I remember posting a pixel piece here ages ago, being very proud of what I was able to achieve with my total lack of experience, feeling I was totally satisfied with it.

And then someone said 'very low contrast on that one' and just upped it a great deal and posted an edit of it, and it was like having been struck by the Baseball Bat of Lucidity, because suddenly I SAW how contrast works in pixel art and how colour transitions that look harsh on 5x zoom blended into harmony at 1 and 2x.

It was an insight that helped me with ALL of my art, and not exclusively pixel art.

So yeah I dunno what I'm saying, I guess I'm saying that tutorials are fine but feedback is better? And that you don't need to learn EVERYTHING by trial and error, because sometimes peer feedback will give you the same insights in the tenth of the time it takes for you to discover it yourself.

After that, it's all about using the knowledge for yourself though. But actually I've noticed my pixel art skill growing just from LURKING pixelation for months and not even pixelling myself. But then of course I have to doodle and scribble all the time - gotta keep your general art sense alive.

Anyways tutorials are great for inspiration, I think! To just see how st0ven could make awesome super detailed dragons by just drawing a silhouette and then filling it in without almost even changing the silhouette - it baffled and inspired me and while I eventually learned I couldn't do exactly that on his level of refinement at least trying that process would give me some new insights. Also tsugumo's original tutorial totally made me feel like 'I CAN DO THIS THING' whereas if I hadn't seen it ... I wouldn't be here. : D

Ramblings end, this was such an essay but without a point. I hope someone gets something out of this. Also photocopier, I realize I'm really saying the same thing that you are. Heh. So don't take this as some kind of arguing against you!

Cheersbyeorsomething
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Offline happymonster

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Re: Anybody have any questions?

Reply #6 on: November 10, 2009, 07:53:37 pm
Thanks guys! That's useful..

Offline Vercingetorix

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Re: Anybody have any questions?

Reply #7 on: November 10, 2009, 11:11:27 pm
I have my own question if it's not too much trouble - how do you flesh out the stick figure once you have a nice motion that your happy with?, If you've got any tips at all it would be very helpfull and much appreciated.


Offline Helm

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Re: Anybody have any questions?

Reply #8 on: November 11, 2009, 02:27:56 am
Antifarea:

Quote
As far as help being offered, I personally have learned a lot in overall by just reading other threads, which is something I been wanting to point out in terms of feedback... helping someone with edits and or feedback not only helps the person who's asking, but helps others as well who might have been wanting to know the same thing.

I'm glad this is so, sometimes I do extensive edits for newcomers with 2 posts that never get back to me and/or update their work (I don't mind if they do and don't integrate my points, I mind when they never show up again) and it's kinda discouraging, it helps to think that other people might be benefiting from it. And of course, on the personal level, *I* am benefitting from it. I've grown tremendously, not as an artist but as a craftsman in Pixelation just by practicing the end level of pulling together a piece. The first few levels of how it's done could use a lot of work but boy, have I learned to do the last 5% heh

Quote
I think that this can help a lot, also what would help a lot would be to make a thread where people vote or request tutorials to be made...

Personally I think this won't work, because a tutorial is something that requires extensive work and often I've found that one has to start from the bottom up and explain everything (like I tried in my attempt in Ramblethread) so it's more like... life undertaking than 'oh someone asked how to do a fighter animation, let me whip up some examples right quick".

happymonster:

If it's in my comfort zone, I don't use any reference. If it's outside, I tend to go to google image and just look at a hell of a lot of stuff and try to absorb as much as I can, but unless explicitly stated, I don't trace or 1:1 copy what I'm seeing. I come from a comic art background where what is prized - in my opinion - more than fidelity, realism and plausibility in rendering, is that the artist conveys his uniqueness in every part of what he draws. So whereas I might look for example, at pictures of cars when I want to draw a car, I will not draw a specific model or brand car, I will draw a Helm car, and I think aesthetically that's more of a priority than just doing the job of the illustrator with realism and plausibility, if you get what I mean.

What I found I gain from perusing reference before I start drawing is that it just sparks up the imagination even further because it reminds you of all the little things that a real thing has about it that you'd forget if you started with 100% imagination. If I say 'draw a kettle' to my brain, it might forget the bottom rim, or to add a curvature to the nose, or to add a split tip to it or whatever thousands of years of kettle engineering have found to be useful to have on there. Once I remember that stuff, I can then reinterpret them in a Helmy way.

Vercingetorix the Galois:

Your question is an animation question, right? I'm not an expert, which can be illustrated perfectly by how I do not use stick figures at all, I work with vague silhouettes when I start to make an animation and once I'm happy with the key frames, I will pixel them fully and then use parts of them rotated and then cleaned up and redrawn to make in betweens. I am a low level animator, I don't know many tricks besides easing a frame in and out, basic anticipation and if there's anything I'm trying to learn is that sometimes less frames/fluidity is better. Animation gurus will answer your question more fully, I hope.

Offline CharlesGabriel

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Re: Anybody have any questions?

Reply #9 on: November 11, 2009, 02:56:29 am
I'm glad this is so, sometimes I do extensive edits for newcomers with 2 posts that never get back to me and/or update their work (I don't mind if they do and don't integrate my points, I mind when they never show up again) and it's kinda discouraging, it helps to think that other people might be benefiting from it. And of course, on the personal level, *I* am benefitting from it. I've grown tremendously, not as an artist but as a craftsman in Pixelation just by practicing the end level of pulling together a piece. The first few levels of how it's done could use a lot of work but boy, have I learned to do the last 5% heh

Yes, I know what you mean, and I have once been guilty of that, but in terms of not posting back, but I did updated the work though... I remember I think it was you or ptoing who helped me haha please bear with me my memory fails me as of lately, but I back then asked for help twice for an sprite, one for edge from star ocean 4 and nowe from drakengard 2... and I really started to grasp things easily after I got the feedback and understood what was really wrong with it, so yeah, it always helps, and I bet in most cases people just either forget to post back or just have something else to do at the moment, but I'm pretty sure most people who you edit stuff for or reply to, at the very least consider applying your tips to the piece.  :y:


Quote
Personally I think this won't work, because a tutorial is something that requires extensive work and often I've found that one has to start from the bottom up and explain everything (like I tried in my attempt in Ramblethread) so it's more like... life undertaking than 'oh someone asked how to do a fighter animation, let me whip up some examples right quick".

Well either way, what really concerns me is to get feedback on animation... I know I seen it in other threads and like I said before I have gotten tips, but still, what worries me is the fact that there isn't really anything about animation out there other than that warner bros drawing thing from some guy that was an artist in the 60s haha... it's really hard to be honest, you don't even know where to start, so my question is simple... how do you guys animate frames? do you make one sprite and then edit it to change the expression? or do you just make each frame entirely from scratch? that's the thing though... most people don't know where to start, and mainly cause there isn't any info out there about this important thing, it's more like everyone goes the hard way, of learning on their own... and why is that if there are soo many people that already know? why not share it? it might take a long time, but think about it... it will help many many people who are in need at the moment haha... so yeah, do it.  :)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 02:31:41 pm by Jad »