AuthorTopic: How did the old masters create their pixel artwork (e.g. Simon the Sorcerer)?  (Read 29267 times)

Offline JJ Naas

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Younger generation? Me? Ha! I've been using DP since I got my Amiga 500 in 1990.

I guess I never got to upload any photos to my Amiga so I never tested how it'd handle photos, I still used DP after I switched to PC in the mid 90's, and I remember that there wasn't a single tool on DP that couldn't have been utilized for making pixel art (at least up until DP4, that was last one I've used). Photoshop ( 4,5 ), on the other hand, was filled with features not relevant for making pixel art. So whatever the intentions of the makers were,  DP 2 on PC was for long the one I turned to when I did pixel art, because it didn't have any useless photo filter and print graphic features.

And the animation feature on DP 4 is still better than the one on the latest Photoshop.. on CS3 anyway.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 06:45:30 pm by JJ Naas »

Offline questseeker

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I still used DP after I switched to PC in the mid 90's, and I remember that there wasn't a single tool on DP that couldn't have been utilized for making pixel art (at least up until DP4, that was last one I've used). Photoshop ( 4,5 ), on the other hand, was filled with features not relevant for making pixel art. So whatever the intentions of the makers were,  DP 2 on PC was for long the one I turned to when I did pixel art, because it didn't have any useless photo filter and print graphic features.

Everything in Deluxe Paint is appropriate for pixel art simply because nothing more advanced could be done at the time, not by design; later software like Photoshop parted ways with your needs but kept the basic "philosophy" of remaining technologically current and offering the greatest resolution, colour fidelity and fancy tools; for example, Deluxe Paint boasted support for the Amiga's new and advanced graphical capabilities, a technological feat not unlike using the GPU for computationally intensive image processing filters in today's Photoshop.

Users like you repurposed Deluxe Paint as a pixel art specialty tool and imitated it in newer software, but in its "life" it never was one. The only proper pixel art tools are modern, specialized "retro" creations that enjoy their niche and are willing to throw away mainstream features for "purity": quite the opposite of old software, which even if it was functionally similar was actually constrained by small resolution and palettes, and of its typical users, who would have been glad to be less constrained.

Pixel art became a specialty rather than image editing tout court over the course of a few years when, because of technological advancements, pixel-oriented techniques ceased to be relevant to the state of the art of computer imaging, and Deluxe Paint suddenly became obsolete compared with Photoshop and the new generation of direct-colour image editing software.

Offline STE 86

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you know, as one who WAS actually working there during your "halcyon" days of pixel art, i can honestly say that some of you talk a "a right load of cobblers" about "pixel art purity" and all your other guff.

ofc Dpaint was a pixel pushing app, as was Koalapaint before it and Degas Elite along side it.

Steve

Offline Helm

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Steve please explain to us what these 'load of cobblers' are in particular, we will appreciate your wisdom.

Offline TheOne

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Yes STE, what are these cobblers? Please detail your cobbles. I’ll give an example to help you out:

“Everything in Deluxe Paint is appropriate for pixel art simply because nothing more advanced could be done at the time, not by design;”

Is a cobbler because:

More advanced programs for photo manipulation came out before Deluxe Paint 4.5 (which versions are we talking about, all of them?):

http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue90/Reviews_Digi-Paint_For_Amiga.php

DP4.5 had advanced non pixel art features such as Ham support, shade and perspective tools.

DP was made by EA and used to make EA games (such as Budokan). You could argue that it was designed for this and making game art with 32 colors corresponds to ‘pixel purity’.

Or is it ALL cobbles?

Are you saying a generation of people living without computer restrictions and not making computer drawings for a living cannot understand the perspective of a generation who worked within real restrictions to make money? Or are you suggesting that the cobbles is part of a deliberate misunderstanding (similar to Harold Bloom’s analysis of poets):

http://thesatirist.com/books/anxiety_of_influence.html
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 06:58:29 am by TheOne »

Offline STE 86

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i guess basically what gets to me is terms like "pixel purity" and the making of rules and regulations as to what does does and doesnt classify as "pixel art"

pixel art to the generations that never got paid for has now taken on a "fine art" slant with many on here it seems. with much talking about the "trade" couched in such "arty" terms that i guess it just winds up "graphic designers" (or maybe its just me:) )

u have to understand that to many in the trade, it used to be a real "them" and "us" between fine art students/artists and graphic design students/artists.

basically what it came down to was "we" worked for a living and "they" lived on government handouts unless they got very lucky :)

realistically what i suppose i take exception to when i say "cobblers" is a percieved (by me) "fine art" drift of a trade that was very dear to me and so it really sets my teeth on edge :) a bit like listening to someone spouting pretentious crap about a pile of bricks in a gallery trying to impress his lady friend :)

back to the realms of reality and the applications tho, i do appreciate what u say about it being a pixel app simply because thats all it could do, which is completely true. i would ask you to consider that the truth is, if it could have done more, would we have used these options?

YES we would. tbh we would have killed for photoshop airbrush :) and where would the "purity" have been then? basically YOUR "pixel purity" stems from the fact that OUR apps couldnt do all we would have liked :) (is that very deep and philosophical or what)

lastly (thank god u say) i have seen since reading this type of forum many, many crits and tutorials that seem to tell any newbie that to show any pixels or jaggies is bad form. i cant say i can agree with this at all. pixels are your media to deny them and to disguise them all makes IMHO for a very flat and boring image. the way i look at it is that its like an oil painter not wanting to show any brushstrokes, it not natural to me.

hopefully some of this will make sense and explain my "knee jerk" post previously in some way.

Steve

Offline TheOne

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I don't think it was a knee jerk reaction to say the idea of "pixel purism" is pretentious crap. I mean, our Administrator himself said as much:

"What's fascinating for me for the average pixel artist regurgitating those philosophical bullet points (many of which I've endorsed in Pixelation for what will soon be a decade) is how self-delusional they are." http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?PHPSESSID=609038b1f0fa07e091c48946fe205cb9&topic=9913.0

The good news is that not everyone bought into the cobblers. Here's an example where someone approached Simon the Sorcerors graphics with the right attitude:
http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixelart/14250.htm

PS. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a game that had jagginess in its graphics (and that was good). Do you have examples? Perhaps jagginess was less of a problem on CRT monitors.

Offline #36005A

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I think part of the divide in opinion comes from some people looking at pixel art as an exact, precise, fine art form, and other people, who are looking purely for nostalgia. Of course these aren't the only two types of pixel art fans, nor are those two categories mutually exclusive, but I think it helps make a little sense of why there's so much of a dispute. Pixel art may have all stemmed from the same source, but it has evolved into a large and compartmentalized community that holds many different beliefs and ideas as to what pixel art is and why it is important to them.

Offline Gil

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Sorry STE 86, but there IS a difference between what we call "pixel art" on this site and any image made before 1994. The times you reminisce about didn't even have pixel art.

Notice the pixel ART bit. We strive to put a scholarly background behind the world of pixel art, this was the original intention of the people starting this forum in the first place (Tsugumo, FrozenEMU, etc). Deconstruct earlier work and try to find methods. Encourage members to follow classical schooling first, then take up pixel art. Find specific patterns in how pixel clusters work together and how these patterns can be used to enhance your own work.

We work in an atmosphere of serious art critique, where other members are encouraged to deconstruct and reconstruct work.

All this has elevated the medium we use over the years and resulted in a whole slew of improvements. Early demoscene work for example is in my opinion full of artwork lacking basic fundamentals such as decent color theory (for 8bpp pieces and up), composition and proper lighting.

"Pixel purism" is an elitist dirty term, but the effort to put a base of scholarly knowledge behind the trade is not.

This is all my opinion, it doesn't necessarily mean the mods and members will agree.

Quote
u have to understand that to many in the trade, it used to be a real "them" and "us" between fine art students/artists and graphic design students/artists.

I am very glad we got rid of that part

Offline STE 86

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ah but u see i dont actually reminisce about pre 1994 as "pixel art" in fact i had never even heard the term before frequenting these boards last year. to me it was enjoyable graphics design, but it wasnt life changing art. only the current crop of "artists" seem to view it as that.

also i would never refer to myself as an "artist" only ever a "designer". i work for a living. once in games now in advertising.

see, "classical schooling" makes me want to retch already. i'm afraid in this quest for scholarly knowledge u mention, u seem to have turned what should be a fun and interesting passtime into something which comes across as sanctimonious and utterly pretentious.

lighten up people. its graphics not fine art. it should be FUN and EXCITING and DYNAMIC not deep and meaningful and boring as fuck.

Steve