AuthorTopic: Pixel Art: Do you ever do non-pixel stuff with pixel art?  (Read 4715 times)

Offline CodeGeorge

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Yeah, Pixel Art is pixel by pixel.  However I've personally found that can often be too restricting.  No, I'm not going straight to the Filter -> Render -> Lens Flare or anything like that.  But for some effects like blurs, glows, etc I've just found it much easier to do in a non-pixel by pixel way.  Am I a deviant?  A rebel?  A pixel poser? :D

Example: I'm currently doing some lava tiles.  And I just happen to notice they look better when I do some photoshop tricks to make it look glowy.  Better than I could do pixel by pixel.  Of course it's 100% pixel by pixel besides that and it's not like computers couldn't handle the now massive amount of colors. 

I mean why limit myself?  I don't do it often.  My only concern is that if it visually fits naturally in the whole look at the end.  I might even still call it pixel art since it's 100% pixel by pixel minus some special custom effect.   >:D


Random thought that came into my head.  Your thoughts?
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Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Pixel Art: Do you ever do non-pixel stuff with pixel art?

Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 04:25:22 am
My idea of pixel art was always how effectively you can utilize colors. But as long as it looks good in the end then it should be okay to do. I wouldn't know what to call it though. 'Enhanced pixel art?'
One game I do a lot of un-official content for has a palette though, 256 colors, to make it more retro. Sometimes having fewer colors also accomplishes that simple, retro, yet still good-looking feel.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Pixel Art: Do you ever do non-pixel stuff with pixel art?

Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 07:29:53 am
I remember once (I think my first pixel job) I was doing some work, where a shape was needed to be embossed on a small sprite of a door. I cut the shape out and did a layer effect in photoshop, then reduced the palette thinking it looked great and nobody would ever know I'd been so cunning. Although it never looked absolutely terrible, the tile was rejected and I ended up redoing the shape by hand. I was confused and annoyed at first. It looked better than anything I could do by hand! The shape needed at least a little AA to look like the shape at all at this scale (I think it was a star), on top of the effect itself. But actually, the hand done version was cleaner, more precise, easier to read and more consistent with the other graphics.

By all means, use all the tools available, but if you find yourself saying "better than I could do pixel by pixel", I'd suggest at least see what's different about the result, work out why it's better, and see if you could just apply this directly with pixels before settling for CS4's dark arts. A lof of games (fighting games for instance) use a lot of blend modes and glows atop of normal pixel art in software, and the world hasn't come to an end, so I wouldn't say it's taboo in itself, but shortcuts need a bit of scrutiny to make sure you end up in the right place.

Offline Helm

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Re: Pixel Art: Do you ever do non-pixel stuff with pixel art?

Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 08:43:27 am
Some advanced environmental effects, when one tries to do them realistically, are easier to consider when not looking at single pixels, that's true. Like lens diffusion, or light scattering or whatever.

For example, this picture of the sky:



Would be difficult to pixel, especially with few colors, and even more if one doesn't want to employ tons of dithering.


If you want to do something like that in pixel art terms, there are ways to stylize the effect so it can be done with pixels.  Here's a 4 color sky for example:

http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixelart/17123.htm

Whether there is a benefit to this procedure or not comes down to how you feel when you look at something and it screams "I'm made of carefully placed pixels". Personally I find that effect very pleasing, but tastes may vary.

If you're finding that you struggle to do things pixel art isn't meant to do, then why are you working with pixel art? Accentuate the aesthetics of the medium, don't try to hide them.

Offline vierbit

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Re: Pixel Art: Do you ever do non-pixel stuff with pixel art?

Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 09:00:57 am
If it fits the style and looks good, I donīt see a problem.
But yeah, the infamous photoshop lensflare effect is a no go, not only in pixelart.

Especially on payed jobs you want things get done fast and effective, so a bit "cheating" is ok I think. Most of the time you also donīt have
to limit yourself with colour count and such. For me, pixelart is a medium where you have control over each individual pixel,
and as long as you have that control with various blend modes, filters ect. it is no taboo for me.

Maybe some people got confused, but pixeljoint is a bit to anal about that matter,
why they just canīt add a tag for index painting is beyond.
 

Offline Elk

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Re: Pixel Art: Do you ever do non-pixel stuff with pixel art?

Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 09:52:19 am
I never use filter effects, I'm from the old school that draws everything, and not using any effects, I was taught that...
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Offline Indigo

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Re: Pixel Art: Do you ever do non-pixel stuff with pixel art?

Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 09:58:05 am
I use opacity in the early stages of pixeling to build up my palette.  It actually helps me keep a limited palette - only adding more indexes when I absolutely need them rather then defining them all upfront then using them.

Offline Ben2theEdge

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Re: Pixel Art: Do you ever do non-pixel stuff with pixel art?

Reply #7 on: November 19, 2009, 02:18:09 pm
The way I see it there are 2 reasons for pixel art:
1: hardware limitations
2: aesthetic convictions

For my job I do pixel art because of hardware limitations. So to stay competitive I'm going to try to make the art look as hip and modern as I can. I don't want people to play the game and think "wow this is so retro! it's like the games I've played 10 years ago!" I want people to think "I can't believe this is running on my cell phone/iphone/DS/whatevs!" So in this case pixel art is less of an artistic liberty and more of a limitation - there's limited resolution so I have to work with that and not against it.

However I think if you're doing pixel art for the purpose of aesthetics you might as well make it look somewhat retro/lo-tech and really embrace the medium. If you want to do lots of fancy realistic effects then make an HD game (NOT as hard as people think) and all the fancy schmancy new technology will be a lot easier to appreciate. Any time I've tried to combine the two I've walked away feeling like it didn't quite mesh, it's two conflicting schools of thought both competing for the same thing.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 02:21:51 pm by Ben2theEdge »
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Offline Gil

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Re: Pixel Art: Do you ever do non-pixel stuff with pixel art?

Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009, 03:19:42 pm
http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=3421.0

This thread is a nice example of pixel art working together with glows and other effects.

Remember that these days if your pixel art contains a lot of these enhancements, you can post it in the low spec forum too.

Offline [Ryan_6666]

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Re: Pixel Art: Do you ever do non-pixel stuff with pixel art?

Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 02:01:01 am
personally i've never used any photoshop effects in my pixels, but then again i only had photoshop for a few months before my hard drive died a slow and painful death :/

i actually prefer pixel art to any other medium just because of its precision and retro vibe, and that, although as painfully tedious as it is, it can be used to create the effects that other programs can, and making it all by hand is a lot more fun and helps your understanding of the effect.