Author Topic: [HELP WANTED] Pixelation 'RPG Perspective' Tutorial Project!  (Read 9623 times)

Offline Seiseki

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So, one thing which is incredibly popular when it comes to pixel art is.. RPG Tiles and RPG Sprites!
We all see tons of these around here and there's one thing that a lot of people have trouble with.. the 3/4 RPG Perspective..
Yet there is surprisingly little information on this, I've seen some info posted in a few topics here and there, 3D renders, drawings.
But there's no tutorial or resource explaining in detail what the perspective is and images explaining it.

So, I want to gather any details and information that you guys might have (I know you have! ;D) on the subject.
Also, if anyone has any 3D renders or could take their time to render a few examples in 3D, of a person in 3/4 view and a box in 3/4 view, with normal view for comparison.

This is so I can write detailed post with all the info, of course giving credit to everyone. (not doing this to take credit for it, just really badly want someone, anyone to write this tutorial)
And whenever someone has issues with the perspective you can link to the 3/4 view - tutorial/resource thread. Because this happens a lot.


Offline Facet

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Re: [HELP WANTED] Pixelation 'RPG Perspective' Tutorial Project!
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 09:15:30 pm »
An excellent notion ;D. I'd like to see a more general thread looking at common graphical projection as used in games at some point. It's been quite a while since I was taught some of this stuff (in passing, really) so someone please correct me if I stray. 

As well as the the lack of a good illustrated introduction I think the various terms bandied about are pretty confusing. What you're trying to define is actually an informal term for a pretty loose approach. 'Perspective', whilst descriptive colloquially, denotes the use of vanishing points, which of course is not the case in the RPGs you're referring to. No vanishing points = parallel projection and 'top down' is more descriptive still.

Taken literally, '¾' is referring to the angle (45 Degrees) by which you're looking down on the scene (the whole being straight top down) and the resultant foreshortening of both the ground and vertical planes. True and consistant ¾ top down is pretty unlikely in practice though.

It's not necessary to foreshorten either plane; a lot of top down games don't compress the elevation for better readability (especially given a low resolution) and for similar reasons (including tiling and navigability) the ground plane is often left untouched. Taking the aforementioned (full profile and/or full top down) then ¾ is not very descriptive.

As to what to term 'RPG perspective' technically; I think plan oblique (extruded from the base, as oppose to elevation oblique: extruded from the profile) is a better catch-all. I've also seen it described as 2.5D (faked depth when not specifically 2D gameplay in a 3D enviroment) which makes sense too. It's worth noting that an 'orthographic' camera in 3D modelling terms doesn't distinguish oblique projection. The orthographic pictorials, where you see three sides of an object (aka axonometric) including the perennial favorite isometric (equally foreshortened sides) require that no axis is parallel to the projection plane. Not the case here. Actually one (but only one) axis can be parallel to the picture plane in axonometric projection but it's extremely uncommon because you 'lose' a plane.

Edit - Explained & diagrammed properly below ;D 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 02:04:44 am by Facet »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: [HELP WANTED] Pixelation 'RPG Perspective' Tutorial Project!
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 03:56:12 pm »
You can use this, made it for that tree topic and it seemed to be fitting. I don't explained every detail, but I think it's possible to understand axonometric perspective with it.

However it's not senseful to draw everything in the correct perspective if it comes to games. sometimes cheating and breaking rules leads to surprisingly better effects. especially with a small resolution (8x8, 16x16 per tile) it's important to "improve" the perspective of charakters and monsters to have a better readability. A correctly in 45 perspective drawn charakter looks mostly like a midget. But another surprising thing is that most people don't even recognize that there are different perspectives, as long as you don't ask them for looking exactly at it. But this is more about the topic of breaking artistical rules.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 10:25:27 pm by Cyangmou »
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

Offline Seiseki

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Re: [HELP WANTED] Pixelation 'RPG Perspective' Tutorial Project!
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 06:39:40 pm »
Great stuff!
Although it might be a bit complicated to someone new to the concept and all the terms..
Having the tutorial split into a simple basics part and then a more advanced in-depth part would be best.

I also agree that it's fun to break the rules and add in weird perspectives that do not actually make sense.
Just like A link to the Past or Minish Cap..
Because otherwise everything usually looks extremely square and straight, which can be quite boring.

But to break the rules you first need to learn how to follow them ;)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 06:42:46 pm by Seiseki »

Offline Helm

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Re: [HELP WANTED] Pixelation 'RPG Perspective' Tutorial Project!
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 07:20:06 pm »
Cyangmou, thank you for that wonderful post. That's what pixelation's here for.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: [HELP WANTED] Pixelation 'RPG Perspective' Tutorial Project!
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 03:08:30 pm »
Great stuff!
Although it might be a bit complicated to someone new to the concept and all the terms..
Having the tutorial split into a simple basics part and then a more advanced in-depth part would be best.

I also agree that it's fun to break the rules and add in weird perspectives that do not actually make sense.
Just like A link to the Past or Minish Cap..
Because otherwise everything usually looks extremely square and straight, which can be quite boring.

But to break the rules you first need to learn how to follow them ;)

there are a bunch of very basic terms which everybody should know I guess. But however, it's maybe necessary to get an overview first and why we use these established perspectives. I think it's necessary to recognize the difference between 3D iso and 2.5D iso. 45 (ultima), other axonometrics (e.g. 180 - 60) are dead.
more important than looking straight and flat is the hiding of the tile grid. E.g. SD3 was pretty good with hiding it and it looks beautiful although the environment graphics are done without breaking the rules often.

Because of this I made another part with some very popular examples and explaining some very basic terms. This time I also used a text tool. Looks a bit more professional than my handwriting. Maybe It'd be also a good idea to overwork the other part later, maybe I'll do this if there is time. I also think that we need at least one example more to make it really convincing. I am thinking of a treasure chest, which is simple enough to imagine but hard enough for a beginner to construct and to learn the basics.

If I am right the other themes (apart from the trees) we also have very often here are "the" grass tile and creating human bases for RPGs

Here the part I made today:
-posted an edited version below -

Credits:
The font is from Joschua Sauer's "Nicht Lustig" cartoons/page.
Also credits to all the artists who created the graphics of the examples

P.S.: @Helm: you posted tons good stuff here and I learnt really a lot from you so far - especially as I started with pixels, so I think it's good that I can finally contribute something to pixelation.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 08:07:35 pm by Cyangmou »
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

Offline Carnivac

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Re: [HELP WANTED] Pixelation 'RPG Perspective' Tutorial Project!
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 03:42:14 pm »
Hm, your '3D ISO' viewpoint was also quite popular in the 80's too, particularly with various platform adventure games on the Spectrum, Amstrad and C64 such as Knight Lore (which I think invented the genre and possibly the actual viewpoint itself though I'm not sure about that.  Certainly was one of the earliest home computer uses of it though) and also Head Over Heels, Batman, Movie and Sweevo's World to name but a few.

EDIT: Just checked up on Knight Lore and while it was a very early use of iso, Ant Attack predates it (though I never played that one).
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 03:50:37 pm by Carnivac »
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Offline Cyangmou

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Re: [HELP WANTED] Pixelation 'RPG Perspective' Tutorial Project!
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 03:47:46 pm »
@carnivac: I wasn't even born at this time and don't played anything that old, except the nintendo arcade games. I played Anno, Sims and Diablo with 3D Iso.  
It's only a number, easy to edit - I'll change it later to 80's and 90's.
If you aren't sure it'd be great if anybody who has experiences of that time could prove it, just to be 100% sure.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 03:53:02 pm by Cyangmou »
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

Offline Carnivac

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Re: [HELP WANTED] Pixelation 'RPG Perspective' Tutorial Project!
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 03:54:57 pm »
@carnivac: I wasn't even born at this time and don't played anything that old, except the nintendo arcade games. I played Anno, Sims and Diablo with 3D Iso. 

Fair enough.  I've never heard of Anno though.  But my point was the style was not just limited to tatical games and RPGs.  The old iso 8 bit games were very popular back in the day.  The "2.5D iso" as you call it (though this is the first time I've seen the word isometric applied to that viewpoint) has also been used in many action games such as Shock Troopers, Chaos Engine and Merc for example.  Was a very popular view point for character based arcade shoot 'em ups.
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Offline Helm

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Re: [HELP WANTED] Pixelation 'RPG Perspective' Tutorial Project!
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 05:51:07 pm »
Cyangmou: love all around then


Also wasn't Qbert the first isometric game?