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Messages - Ryumaru

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Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 23, 2014, 08:34:20 pm »

Yes, it looks like I cheated and took a really easy image. I was actually saving this one for a day when I had very little time, but then I realised I struggle to give form to hills, so it became good practice.

A lot of growth in your value studies. You still make things a tad too light, check the top of the sky gradient in the photo and in your study.
Also, if you're going to do gradients now, you should also include edge control. No more brushy edges; if something is hard edged or soft edged, make it that way. I'm looking at the trees, their shadow, and the horizon specifically( good treatment of the clouds). Use the lasso tool to make the process easier.

A slightly derpy 4 armed werewolf. Just got a set of copic cool grays so I really just wanted to try them out.

Ohhh! I really like the direction this thread is taking! StevenM has a great, functional design I thought I'd tweak.

For the forest mockup I went ahead and added a canopy, moved around some grass and tweaked Charizard's wing and shadows. When it comes to working with a limited space, I'd advise against having long lines of pixels that touch the edge of the 56x56 box. It makes it obvious where the edges of the sprites are.

For the indoor mockup I made it a bit more efficient tile-wise and found a neat way to get Red's sprite working. There's a sort of white strip along the back wall which blends with the ground nicely. Not sure how to handle Giovanni's side and the door, though.

I also changed the cave mockup a bit. I went with some pillars of light to make the sprites less boxy and added some rocky background details. I bumped the stone platforms down a tile and tweaked the right side of Charizard's sprite a bit. What do you guys think?

Yes. YEs. YES. This is great! You and StevenM really knocked it out of the park with this background stuff; it all looks really doable and gives just enough information to allow the viewer to fill in the blanks and create their own idea of how the world looks. ( which I think is a big component in creating charm, nostalgia, and strong attachment to the original graphics.)

 :y: :y: :y:

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 21, 2014, 04:04:58 am »

So I stole er borrowed an art book from my friend to work on human anatomy, so another male form again. Thoughts?
I really need to do poses.

a couple. Proportions are generally ok. A little low-waisted and low-naveled(?)
I would spend time learning the shapes of the muscles, how they interact with each other, and more importantly, their origins and insertions. bodies are hard.

Definitely the second trainer, gives him that ominous Red look. These are great attempts at adding backgrounds while still following how the game handles things, but some bits are just awkward and draw attention to themselves.

I would be interested in seeing a system created that split up the sprite in a way that the majority of it could use 4 colors, but in the right places it would allow for transparency and background behind it. I might even take a stab at it myself.

Portfolios / Re: Up and coming artist
« on: July 17, 2014, 06:51:56 pm »
Please post some samples of your work here. No one (should) is going to  email somebody whose work they can't see.

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 16, 2014, 09:14:59 pm »
Thanks as always for the advice, Ryu.
As far as picking my references better, what kind of things am I looking for? Just lots of mountains/hills/large rocks and no trees? Should I be avoiding things with lots of water in them?

Well, it's not any one thing. For quick studies like this, you want to avoid anything that cannot be easily categorized as one or a few masses, and/ or does not have a form interesting enough to warrant it's study, OR if to get an adequate likeness of it, it's rendering would take too long. Things like the shine on the granules of sand, and the haphazard shrubbery are examples of this. Depending on the lighting, pretty much anything can follow, or break these "rules", so it's just a case by case basis.

If you were to start using texture brushes, you would open up the things you can indicate in a short amount of time, but there's still a lot to learn without them.

 More Frazetta buns

Pixel Art / Re: My game's characters, feedback needed!
« on: July 16, 2014, 07:10:20 pm »
I've merged your latest post to your previous one. Please, no double posting.

What little you have here looks nice, but I think if you want any truly helpful commentary, you should show us mock ups of a complete game screen and how these sprites would interact with backgrounds and UI elements.

Right now there's simply not enough information in these to give in depth commentary.

These are good! A little odd in their composition of course, but every little bit adds to the atmosphere. I gave some leeway with the width in my edit because I justified it in my head that perhaps most sprites would not have white inside them near their edges. Apparently each sprite is made of a collection of smaller 8x8 sprites put together. One should be able to designate some of those sprites having different palettes I would think- one where white was NOT the transparent color, and thus could show against a background.

Those screens are beautiful, but unfortunately they probably wouldn't have worked. Both the character and pokemon sprites are utilizing their transparency for a 4th color ( the white background). With your set up, Sprites would have to be added on top to make the white opaque and THAT would probably take up too much memory, be too cumbersome with all the characters and pokemon.

What you could do, is make a bigger white tree that is behind the sprites at all times.

It doesn't look nearly as good, but those are the restrictions. Also, the way sprites scroll into battle, any part of them that is white would show the background through on their way to these white backdrops. there could be a way to design more detailed backgrounds like this while not getting in the way of the sprite's transparency though.

This is wonderful stuff, I do find the choice to make it a public asset a little odd, but hey, it's your art after all. :y:

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 14, 2014, 09:49:53 pm »

Remake for today of a previous exercise:

I believe that I finally understand what these studies are going to be teaching me.

There you go.  :y:
I would also recommend a bit more scrutiny in your reference choice. Landscapes are great, but try and go more for ones that focus on shape and form over texture. Scenes like the close up sand and the previous landscape have too much of it to capture with flat colors in a short amount of time. You can still learn from these of course, but your studies may feel wanting when you have to omit large portions of them ( which was the right thing to do) and those sorts of references would be better when you start going after texture and indication.

Just so I'm not all talk and no show, here's the latest of the Frazetta study. Nearing the end of how far I'm going to take this one. a lot of little daily bits in one  :crazy:

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 12, 2014, 06:11:32 pm »
Nice Character 32 :y:

Ambivorous, I took a stab at a value study from the ref you posted. I think you are quickly outgrowing the brush tool as your only means of mark making. Don't be afraid to use the lasso tool to better nail the shape. Value shape is what produces a likeness.

Also I should say your post 607 and 611 are good efforts. make more like those.

I used soft brushes for gradients and such, but if you absolutely wanted to, you could still stick to flat colors. This technique can actually be used to produce a finished product with strongly designed abstract shapes and realistic rendering on top. You could push an image like this further with texture brushes etc for that finish.

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 12, 2014, 02:25:46 am »
Ambivorous, these are great exercises. You consistently make things a little too light in value.

You really need to work on your palette management. Lots of unnecessary colors; this could easily be done in 16.

For the robe, and clothes in general, the only thing you can do is practice. You see the words around here all the time: break out the paper and pencil. Get some reference. Do studies until you understand a good deal of what is happening. My edit is far from perfect, but takes it at least half way to where it needs to be.

For the hands: this is a hard pose, and you actually did a decent job at them. Think about each finger as a series of blocky cylindrical forms. Also, think more about how light hits form, and any cast shadows it may produce.

*raises hand to be the GBC/ NES low color restrictions gym leader*

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 07, 2014, 08:18:25 am »
I originally took a massive brush and just went over the image at something like 25% zoom while squinting, but that left a lot to be desired, so i zoomed back to 100%, shrunk my brush a bit and touched up the mountain ranges (and some on the clouds and trees, but that's not well done at all).
Should I not have done that rather?

That is fine. I would limit yourself to 5 values. It makes you focus more on how a composition is created and it's shapes designed. Try doing more work with the lasso tool and getting a better attempt at reproducing the shapes you're seeing.
In this one you made the light hitting the edges of the mountain bright enough. They make up a small amount of the picture, but are very important in describing the lighting conditions of the scene.

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 06, 2014, 02:10:45 am »
More tileset stuff, yay!

An actual mockup now that I have enough pieces:

I feel this amplifies the differences in my pieces and they all need a little work. The long grass is obviously very WIP and the short grass is probably just a placeholder, but at least I have quite a pretty scene (despite being a little disjointed). May start a thread soon actually, to get some help with this. Think I'll make a character and animal first though; that gives me something to do tomorrow and Monday.

Value practice thing:

Well this is less embarrassing, but still pretty far off.
I imagine 100 more of these though and I'll know my values pretty well.

Squint more.

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 02, 2014, 02:09:05 am »
Mr. Fahrenheit: Thanks!

Do not paint a Rembrandt, but BE Rembrandt. Of course, this is extremely difficult to do but is the highest form of master study.

just curious how you want to be someone you never met and you just know pictures of. Work of that person(s workshop, or work labeled as their work) made for clients and not even the complete Opus is at your fingertips due to time and a lot of pieces got lost (at least if it comes to "old" masters)
At the end trying to be someone else just will always end up with yourself imagining something, at least as far as I understand.
YOu yourself Imagining and acting like some idealized/idolized view of someone.
is acting in in someone you don't know and you won't ever met and you don't have valid information about his personality truly the highest form of the master study?
I think it's possible to reproduce style and even to reproduce someones ideas to a certain degree. I don't think you will ever be able to really "be" someone. You just don't share the exact view of world and experiences as this person and you might miss key experiences which were important for the artist - conscious or inconscious.

Maybe I just misunderstood or misinterpreted what you wrote, but I am curious what's the big idea behind this. I know some actors actin gin certain characters, but that sounds to me like a completely a different story.
Quite late... uhm early here.

My verbiage was hyperbolic.

By " very difficult" I really meant impossible. Sometimes however, even if the goal is impossible, it is still the clearest aim. Depending on the artist, we can know what time they lived, what was going on around them, and perhaps get a sense of their personality and world view by letters they write and work they create.

But I didn't mean to that extent. More so, become the artist in the moment of your painting. For example, many artists seek the " secrets" of the old masters, yet they don't use flake white, make their own pigments, or paint exclusively by daylight. Of course, the more experienced someone is, the closer they can get to the essentials of a certain artist's work, despite not following things such as these. These are things that may seem trivial at first, but when they compound on each other they grow into a direction that differs greatly from the path of someone who makes no attempt to " become the artist". One could copy a painting by John Singer Sargent using glazing and multiple layers, making their brushstrokes invisible, taking reference from a digital image etc, but that is sub-optimal. If an artist uses loaded brushstrokes with a flat brush, standing an arms length away from the painting, it's in your best interest to do the same.

I merely meant "be the artist" in a technical, and to some extent, environment, manner (tools, process when known, color palette etc).

However, Master studies have many uses beyond this and this is definitely not the only way to do one- but I do think it is the most sincere way, and most useful in absorbing all qualities of an artist's work at once. If I have video tutorial confirmation that one artist uses painter, it's stupid of me to do a study from them in photoshop if some of the qualities I am after in their work may be due to the painter workflow. If I am after just color, just value, or just drawing however, I can really use any tool or medium to replicate those aspects in a more segmented way.

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 02, 2014, 01:12:43 am »
Mr. Fahrenheit: Thanks!

Ryumaru, that is really impressive!
How exactly do you do a "master study"? Say if I wanted to study the work of a specific artist because I like his technique or his colours (or some such). How would I go about doing a study without just blatantly copying what they do?

For example this guy from DeviantArt: Cushart. I love the colours he uses and the way he shades his pieces. I'd love to some how transfer that into my pixel art, but I have never even done art and I haven't the foggiest idea how or why his artwork looks like that. I also do not nearly have enough talent to mimic it, but I would really like to get to that point.
Other than the obvious point of practicing a lot and reading every tutorial ever, do you have any tips on how I might be able to recognise the facets of art that I like and why I like them, and then ideally how I could transfer that to my own work? I would be greatly appreciative if anyone could shove any stepping stones my way.

The point IS to blatantly copy. The truest form of a master study is to do something at the same scale, with the same medium, and same technique as your chosen artist. Do not paint a Rembrandt, but BE Rembrandt. Of course, this is extremely difficult to do but is the highest form of master study. You then take what you absorbed by channeling that artist and bring it to your own work. You can also do master studies for a number of other reasons, such as learning their composition, color, treatment of values/ edges. You can do a master study in a medium you don't know to get the hang of it, or one you do know to excel in it.

The artist you posted is pretty advanced, and is doing some complex things, perhaps some that he's not even entirely conscious of. If you haven't taken your drawing to a decent level where you could feasibly copy his work, that would be the first step. Then you would want to analyze his color use, and do a copy of one of your favorites. Perhaps even 2 or more. As far as recognizing what you like about a work, know that in painting, this is what everything is composed of:

- Drawing
- Value
- Color
- Edges

Learn about these fundamental elements and how to separate them ( for example, all color has value, but sometimes you may not care for an artist's use of color, but the underlying values may be applied in a striking manner). This will help you identify what you like most about the artist and from there you can learn how to apply it.

Challenges & Activities / Re: The Daily Sketch
« on: July 01, 2014, 08:42:39 am »
Man you guys are getting it. I was afraid of posting here because of the daily commitment, which of course makes it more necessary that I do it.

I've decided to spend each month with a master. To do a master study as well as an original image in the style of said master. July is frazetta.

Pixel Art / Re: Pixel z1
« on: June 24, 2014, 08:24:11 pm »
But did you create the art in this mockup? This is the forum where you post your own art for critique and comments. If you want to promote your project, you can create a thread in the general forums.

Pixel Art / Re: 8-bit mock-up for game
« on: June 23, 2014, 10:15:00 pm »
Yes, this is actually pretty good, in fact, except for some random hidden colors, the assets are pretty much fine. In some cases, sprite overlays would be added to give the main character one or two extra colors ( I think megaman does this?)

Your tiles only use 3 colors, when they could actually use 4 ( always including black as the background color). Go for more variation in the tiles- you could easily create a tileset that would allow for these meta squares to be 8x8, 16x16, 24x24, and 32x32. Additionally, you could create some variations that would allow you to make some fall into darkness more than others to break up the space and busyness.

I played around with the tiles, lowering their brightness and saturation while giving the character more. Embrace the restrictions, I think you will find that you actually create more interesting aesthetic choices when under the pressure of them.

Pixel Art / Re: Grass/cliff tileset [wip]
« on: June 22, 2014, 08:36:49 pm »
Ambivorous: Good critique! Yes, things move slow around here- It's hard to critique them all. We appreciate when newly active members help each other, as ultimately that is what keeps Pixelation afloat. You get a cookie. :y:

Mewaysid: Welcome to the Pixelation! This is a nice start. I used to be a hardcore MSpaint fan, but I really would recommend the free version of graphics gale- at the VERY least, for color correction. Pixel art was founded on hardwares with many restrictions- one of which was low color counts. It's good practice to keep a palette with all the colors you use somewhere on your canvas if you're in MSpaint. I filled in a color that should have been the entire tile and this is what happened ( error in red):

Graphics gale has an option to reduce colors to a certain amount- say 64, 32, or 16, and can be very useful for quickly eliminating all unnecessary colors. You can download it here:

happy pixeling!

That's ok: I was actually going to give permission for Yaomon to use it anyway- knowing it would sti take a lot of rendering to be useable. This of course, is an exception to the usual rule where optimally the artist will bring the edit into their preferred program and work with it side by side and studying it.

Pixel Art / Re: Cute Girl Action RPG Sprite
« on: June 22, 2014, 06:16:56 am »
Use the new sprite with the old color combination, which had better separation/ readability. Don't fix it if it ain't broke. :y:

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that nobody really wants nipples that look like they were carved out of marble with specular highlights around their perimeter. The faceted, planar style you're going for can work alright, but you need a better understanding of the muscular forms before you can simplify and distort them in such a way.

For the shopkeeper, the pose was very unnatural. He would be bracing the hammer on the fat of his neck as opposed to something like his shoulder, which has more structure. Also, if you insist on using the same palette ramps for different assets, think about restricting their range of use for other parts. For example, there were many highlight shades I did not use for the sleeves. This not only makes them look like a different " color" but it also gives them a different material identity. Not everything has to be highlighted to it's maximum. In fact, this reduces material identity and can actually flatten an image as opposed to enhancing forms.

I hope this is of some help. good luck with your game!

edit: saw some flaws in my own edit; still may not be perfect. Length of the upper arm and angle of the forearm will need close looks to make sure it's right

Are you accepting critique on any of the work shown here? The art direction is solid, and you have some fine pixel work going- but there are some weird things going on with anatomy. Specifically the larger portraits.

Pixel Art / Re: Project Entropy
« on: June 20, 2014, 03:12:57 am »
FrostPumpkin: Thanks! I really appreciate it! your words are very motivating; creating a game will be a very stressful and time consuming venture- hearing talented people like you, and the many others, enjoying this project will help me as I start pushing this project past the vast heap of promising yet uncompleted games.

rikfuzz: Thanks! I agree; hopefully my update below does a good job of softening them.

Mathias: Stat display is an issue I'm working with currently. I've started to cement the concept of multiple playthroughs revealing more information to the player in subtle ways; a nudge that, combined with the natural broadening of one's understanding after completion, I hope will give the player a sense of finding and understanding complexity in the game and narrative were previously there "wasn't any".

This is to say I definitely didn't just forget about such a thing! Just how or if to implement it is something cooking in my cranium, currently.

I'm quite partial to the tan and purple :3 Right now I really like the idea of separating interactive objects through palette alone. This is a nod to the inherent restrictions ( tiles allow for one more color, and thus more detail and a different look) as well as old animation cel created cartoons where they couldn't feasibly move something in the background without it being drawn on a cel and painted in a flat manner as opposed to the usually higher detailed backgrounds. 
It is notably important that the weapons all share a palette with Wander. Playing with the idea of this representing these items being closer to Wander in their makeup than other parts of this world is something I do when decision making at 3 AM within the arbitrary limitations I've given myself for this game so far.

| | | |: Thanks! I personally kind of liked it, but I gave it a try with a couple other easily available colors and compiled the options in a gif below. What do you think? This goes for everybody else, too!

coffee: Yes! it's good to be back. I tried to address your crits in the update below, let me know what you think! I found the thumb looked awkward/ ungraceful without at least a little bit of the nail showing, but I made it thinner.

ErekT: Great stuff! I tried to put your edits into account. Thanks so much! I've grown so much since this idea first started; I tell myself what I'm doing is really cool to keep me going, but it's nice to hear that from other people!  :crazy:

Fizzick: You're definitely right! Tried to address it in the latest.

General & Creativity / Re: Pixel Art Help
« on: June 19, 2014, 01:37:52 am »
Recoloring is not really a form of pixel art . . . I think you may have to go to forums with members that do a lot of this type of thing. What you will find here at pixelation are people trying to make sprites like the Rayquaza, not ones trying to recolor it. Good luck in finding some help!

Pixel Art / Re: Project Entropy
« on: June 18, 2014, 05:08:34 am »
Is narrow a fruit term for it's color/ appearance or do you guys mean it's physical width? 0.o I didn't know I could mess up an apple that bad!

souly: Thanks so much! That is how creativity goes; I've had the same feeling with many other projects I've seen around. I had a mini conniption when I found out the main character's name in Shadow of the Colossus is "Wander"- and when I saw the first looks at Journey!

Here is a mockup for weapon selection. I want the game to be as textless as possible. It's been interesting and difficult trying to do screens like this without the aid of words. Others will be even harder.

And "portraits" of some of the full blades so far:

Pixel Art / Re: My second real Pixel art piece using your tips!
« on: June 16, 2014, 07:10:19 am »
Yes, it can be tedious, only you decide if it's worth it to resize or not. Keep size in mind for the future so you don't run into the same problem. As for the piece currently, the grass near the tree is far too light, the colors you are using for the it in the background is fine for the foreground- perhaps you can add a shade that is a tad lighter.

Animation / Re: Snake Curses- Walk Animations
« on: June 14, 2014, 07:12:31 am »
Also the foot path is too much like this: () than this: ||
Don't be afraid to chance the shape of the foot  as it changes position from / to _ to \
Please excuse the awful symbol illustration- don't have the means to time efficiently edit animation currently. Hope this is still of some help, I like your project!

Pixel Art / Re: My second real Pixel art piece using your tips!
« on: June 14, 2014, 03:54:53 am »
Your latest edit is far better than your first image. This is one of few times where I will say: go larger. Unless you need it at that size for some reason, theres a lot that could be done if the canvas was around twice as big, and it still would not be too much work.

Why seek a screen technology independent definition when many pixel art techniques ( AA, dithering, selective outlining) are influenced or decided upon by the nature of screens? I've always disliked the analogy between pixel art and textile art, as representation of form in pixel art is so different from the imperfect, natural, and physical realm. It's like trying to contain digital and traditional painting together.

It seems you're trying to lump in the "problem" of pixel art being linked to nostalgia and how it effects an audience, with it's naming. Calling it grid art won't take any stigma away from the medium in viewers' eyes. Pixel art has no future in terms of evolving as an art form, because it is a segment in the larger lifespan of digital art as a whole. Of course beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, and to a certain extent, unique things will always be possible within it- but there is no " moving forward".

Pixel Art / Re: [wip] The Emperor of Oaks
« on: June 05, 2014, 05:23:27 am »
Thanks for the help everyone!  Here's where I ended up:

the shapes suggestion helped a ton.

I worked to make it even more chaotic, with the most noise around the center of the middle shape to draw the eye there; put it against black to make it look even bolder.  :)

Do realize though, that you've now created a composition; which inherently gives it structure and focal points/ directional flow.

What exactly are these "movements"? Are they images that will phase into each other or otherwise animate?

Pixel Art / Re: [wip] The Emperor of Oaks
« on: June 03, 2014, 03:15:37 am »

Break up these areas and you will accomplish basically all you set out to do for this piece. More problem areas may arise after fixing these.

Pixel Art / Re: Wilderness Campaign Remake
« on: May 31, 2014, 12:53:11 am »

I think this image shouldn't break any of the conventions you've given yourself.

first off, 1 bit is just plain hard. I love working within limitations and this is still something I never touch. for readability, focus more on silhouettes and shadow shapes. Even when you " simplified" your image with a bit less dithering, there were still bits that didn't really describe much. Make every pixel count. Dithering with this sort of thing really isn't all that bad, especially large areas of 50% dither are easy to read as a separate shade. Just commit to it if you're going to do it, instead of little transitions like in your first image. There are some relatively " clever" techniques you can use for things like the tree, where the black informs the silhouette and since the tile is on the bottom ( shadow side) you can use the sky color and it sort of reads as reflected light or holes in the foliage.

Pixel Art / Re: Project Entropy
« on: May 23, 2014, 02:13:40 am »
It's been a while; I have a few bits to show. It's funny seeing the necropost warning every time I update this thread  :crazy:

examine screen for certain areas/ picked up objects.

another lotus room location.

astraldata: Thank you so much! I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. I am torn on the sprite size thing, it is an important issue. I see your point, but I have fallen at least a little in love with the new sprites. I will feel things out as the world is created and issues such as screen size are finalized.

Probo: Yep, perspective is a bit different. As I flesh out the visuals of boss battles and other areas I will get a better sense of how things are working. Stay tuned!

Pixel Art / Re: Erde Scene
« on: May 21, 2014, 05:01:25 pm »
You rendered without first having a solid foundation. For the foliage, you need to think of clumps and forms, not individual shapes you can AA to look like leaves. Sometimes even with a good start you can fall into this over-individualization. Same thing goes for the segmentation of the tree which neither looks realistic or cool, but as disfigured and lumpy as the clouds.

Your palettes and technique for the most part is good, but I've seen a trend in your work of losing the whole when it comes to creating convincing forms that exist in space by poor shape design and over-rendering.

Your latest edit is a step in the right direction; you are getting good critique here and you have the ability to execute.

Thanks for the post..  That tree; So true about the texture.
 I really learned something important in all this.. never work too hard rendering something without first either putting a lot of thought into it or sharing compositional sketches. Those clouds took a long while and yet  they're useless.. a waste of hours.  (I actually may recycle them for a transparent layer in another scene; so possibly they will serve some other purpose)

Cels: I don't know either. I didn't want anything specific as a point of interest or focal point in the background. I wanted something mysterious and dark.. but not too dark, ie the stars breaking through the veil of blackness, the semi happy colors, etc.
I actually considered putting a tower in the background but decided against it because I felt like it's been done so many times. I can think of a few games even where the object or destination is seen in the background as the character looks upon it. Although yours does look pretty cool peeping out over the clouds there.. hmm decisions decisions.

What are the divisions in those two edits of Drazelic's example for?

Rav: Glad you said you think a scene could be interesting sans a particular object of interest, cause there really was no intended focal point beyond the ledge in the foreground.. just an open scape with many possible points to look at.

I may crop it to the size in the quick edit I posted although I'll fully redo the clouds and tree. the main issues were the horizon line and the textures.. hopefully with those two things corrected I can make the image clear. Although I'm curious on peoples thoughts on focal points and whatnot.

Yes. Learning this lesson can be quite disheartening. And it may happen more than once, it has for me. Something simply stated right is always better than something highly detailed wrong. Look at henk nieborg's work and you will notice the powerful forms he creates with only 5 colors, rarely any AA, and he never loses the big idea to finnicky details.

These hours are not wasted, however. You've lost some now to save many in the future. Getting the image right will be all the more rewarding. I suggest color reducing some images of clouds and seeing the shapes that are created. It may give you a
Better idea of how to design more natural, form provoking shapes.

Pixel Art / Re: Erde Scene
« on: May 20, 2014, 01:05:11 am »
You rendered without first having a solid foundation. For the foliage, you need to think of clumps and forms, not individual shapes you can AA to look like leaves. Sometimes even with a good start you can fall into this over-individualization. Same thing goes for the segmentation of the tree which neither looks realistic or cool, but as disfigured and lumpy as the clouds.

Your palettes and technique for the most part is good, but I've seen a trend in your work of losing the whole when it comes to creating convincing forms that exist in space by poor shape design and over-rendering.

Your latest edit is a step in the right direction; you are getting good critique here and you have the ability to execute.

Pixel Art / Re: Knight Artorias
« on: April 01, 2014, 08:15:27 am »
Good stuff! I like what you did with Sif, although you could probably keep his hind legs sitting on the ground; right now they are too short for how extended they are.

Any particular reason you're working so large? You could easily reduce this piece by 50% and still have an impressively sized pixel art piece, but with much less work- and more opportunity to get into the nitty gritty of pixel art technique  :)

Pixel Art / Re: Knight Artorias
« on: March 31, 2014, 10:35:17 pm »
So I started editing this, and things got a little out of hand; I'm a big fan of Dark Souls and especially Artorias and Sif so I got really into it >.>

I felt your composition was off, or could be done better in a few areas:
- focal point
While it's obvious that Artorias and Sif are the most important part of the scene, the stand alone sword grabs our attention in part to its strong silhouette and its awkward placing squished between the humanity sprites. Artorias left his greatshield with Sif, but I feel quite sure he would not leave his sword unattended.
- Artorias's pose
It's not necessarily bad, but if you notice, he's placing a large amount of weight upon his mangled arm, which would hurt like hell if he was even able to do it all.  A reclining pose of sorts is probably possible, but I opted for him on his knees huddled over Sif with his right arm bearing his weight behind him.
- Orientation
This is another thing where personal preference weighs heavily, but Dark souls is such a classical high fantasy game, with Artorias having such a tragic story, that I thought the composition should match. Sif, the shield, and Artorias form a triangle ( which is often used in classical/ religious compositions) with the sword reinforcing the shape at it's Apex. A vertical composition allows the humanity sprites to better surround and loom over the characters.

There is also a lot of color reduction, optimization, and lighting improvements that could be made. I think the concept and feeling of the piece are really solid and hope to see you work on it further! Feel free to take any or none of the ideas I brought in my edit.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] 16-color palette sprites and tiles
« on: March 24, 2014, 12:45:35 am »
Often our instinct with tiles is to always apply texture. Do not underestimate the power of flat color.

Staedtler lumocolor permanent. Has various nibs and sizes. Good quality ink. Don't know if it wears better or worse than a good old sharpie though.

Welcome Alex and quervo! Enjoy the forums   :)

Pixel Art / Re: Platformer Character WIP w/ Sword Swing Animation
« on: March 03, 2014, 11:19:42 pm »

Perhaps a red? The blue looks nice of course because it complements the golden/ white cloak. But against a background that is also blue it could be a bit too much.

Pixel Art / Re: Erde mock-ups [water animation]
« on: February 18, 2014, 09:27:22 am »
Hey there,

Your tiles are really solid in terms of the palette and how you are applying pixels, but the set seems overly detailed, and the forms are flattened due to bringing up all the details to nearly full highlights. This makes the rocks look overly busy, and more "noisy" than something as solid and planar as rocks.

I made an edit; the effect could be taken even further, but the point is to round out the forms more and obliterate some of the detail for a larger, more gradual fall of gradient light. I know some bits will be difficult as this is a tile set made to link different pieces together, but I found myself editing same/ similar clusters to similar levels, so I think it can be done.

This takes into account more of the whole picture, the gestalt, which can be harder to grasp in tiles which by their very nature separate things. Attention to these larger concerns can help guide the players eye and allow them to properly focus on the walkable parts of the cave

General & Creativity / Re: Community Problems
« on: February 16, 2014, 01:14:27 am »
Firstly, the animation you posted in my thread was most definitely not ignored. I apologize if I didn't properly thank you for your time on that one;( so, thanks!!)  sometimes, especially with a project thread like that, artists ( me) shift focus with intention of coming back to that subject matter at a later point.

Also, I remember seeing and internalizing all of these great edits. Unfortunately, they may not get through to the original creator, but they are all great sources of information for the rest of the community.

General & Creativity / Re: Community Problems
« on: February 15, 2014, 12:45:50 am »
I think something like that would be helpful. I also think that some solid tutorials and examples of rpg view sprites and assets in common resolutions would be good. That has to cover what seems like 50% of what new users are posting.  Perhaps the possibly impending thanks system  could  have seperate tags for threads of that nature and be pooled into one thread  of great rpg examples

Pixel Art / Re: Xedrai's sprites
« on: February 14, 2014, 02:53:59 am »
I don't mean to jump in to be the bearer of bad news or anything, but unless you are a community favorite or presenting a piece that is acceptable to their tastes, it is very hard to get proper feedback from my experience. Portrait pieces tend to be a big thing and platformers too, and RPG 3/4th perspective pieces (Beetleking) if your art seems serious enough. Newbies tend to frequent the place often so it's understandable that most community members try to ignore them and let most pleas or requests for constructive criticism sink to the bottom of the forums. What I've noticed is members here take their art very seriously, as if the medium were for new-age picassos or da Vincis, and unless you're deemed a potential asset to their community or already have a quality enough post that feels adequate enough to win over a response, it will be very hard to get constructive input or even a simple reply. You're exceptionally lucky to have gotten this many so far.

So understand, because even though you may feel like you're putting enough effort and progress into your project that may make you feel like you deserve a response, the community is more likely to sigh and click the next post in a search to find what makes their insides giddy. And even though pixelart itself is an outdated medium that is retro at best, there's still a shunning or taboo around certain styles or perspectives of pixelart.

Vakinox, it would be in your best interest not to generalize this entire community, and bad mouth the people that make it possible in the first place. We value all members that are serious about what they do and are looking to improve their skill. Many members here, myself included have felt the sinking feeling of putting in an hour or two of time into editing a newcomer's work and constructing a well thought out critique only to have the thread dwindle and the user lose interest in the piece and even pixel art in general. The work in this thread also in my opinion suffers from an area of not being bad enough to critique easily, and not being completely outstanding, where the entire thread is people grasping at enough words to create more than one liners saying " awesome!"

Personally I find Cyangmou's comments on this view not very useful; we may say to new users to start smaller or focus less on stylizations, but we are not here to say " do something completely different".

This is not a warning, but I invite you to drop the overly sarcastic feelings about this community and become an active member that helps pixelation grow. We are always in need of new people that don't just peek their head in for a month or two.

Xedrai: Your weapon icons seem generally well made. I think your art is suffering from too many shades for small sprites, and a more general, almost pillow shaded form as opposed to trying to replicate textures such as highly reflective metal. Finding references of the items you are wanting to represent, and perhaps even scaling them down to a similar size might give some insight into how to better represent these forms on such a small canvas.

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