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My pixel art sucks. Need help.

category: general [glöplog]
It's a unique skill that's for sure, but I don't think you'll see much better pixel art than you'll see in the scene. Or at least I haven't.

I think you've done a pretty good job on those sprites so far. I always hated pixelling sprites as it is very difficult working at such a small scale.

But like Tomaes said, I do think you need to desaturate the colours a bit. It will help them appear less cartoony and a bit more sophisticated.
added on the 2009-01-12 14:22:49 by Wade Wade
"Not that I painted a lot but I always had a problem in drawing humans or animal forms (Well, I tried once I think). I could draw other things easier (mountians, houses, mechanical things (spaceships, weapons), fonts) - well only on CPC I tried but I know. I don't have an eye for human body anatomy or something. I think. Can this change?"

The key is to paint the bone structure and joints first. Represent each bone with a lines until you have a matchstick man. This is a good way to check your proportion before you continue. Then from here, just sketch the muscle shape around the lines and build it up from there.

It's hard to explain in text, but it's quite easy to pick up.
added on the 2009-01-12 14:26:06 by Wade Wade
Wade - in DPIV-era scene pixelling, was(/is) dithering generally done manually or did people use gradient brushes/fills and stuff like that? Or was that another one of those elitism issues, like "you didn't do it properly, with a fork stuck in your leg while sitting on broken glass!"?

Not like it matters, really, but I've only got a musician's perspective on the various myths of 'authenticity' in creative practice and I'm interested in a graphician's perspective :)

(Of course it might be that a good pixeller wouldn't trust a gradient fill to get it right? That'd be a different story altogether...)
added on the 2009-01-12 15:19:46 by syphus syphus
wat alcohol can do....
a monday afternoon..
added on the 2009-01-12 15:35:42 by 24 24
Syphus: It was all done manually, at least by myself and many of the more recognised scene artists. One reason for this is that gradient fills didn't really work on complicated shapes. The other is that hand dithering was a way of giving your work texture and a personal touch.

If you look at artists like Uno, Facet, Made, Ra and Cyclone, for example, you can see their shading is very textured and has a stylish look.

I think artists also feel that software presets give artwork too much of a generic or processed look and not enough personal style. When you're used to paint programs, you can recognise filters and gradients a mile away.
added on the 2009-01-12 16:28:26 by Wade Wade
Btw, one exception I can think of is Lazur. He frequently used gradient fills and filters in his work as far as I can tell, but he wasn't so much of a traditional pixel artist. Although I loved Lazur's details, I always thought his work had a very generic and ugly style.
added on the 2009-01-12 16:32:10 by Wade Wade
that advice works for fullscreens, but the topic here is small sprites. it's a completely different ballgame... imho.

1- draw the main shape, doesn't matter much how ugly/rough
2- add lighting/depth to the main shape
3- add details, from big to small. once you start thinking more than half a second on how to add the next detail, quit adding details and move on
4- clean up main shape, do some aliasing if need be
5- add highlights
6- presto, game sprite. shouldn't have taken more than a few minutes, depending on size

if you need animated sprites, just repeat step 2-6 until you got enough (and looping) frames. don't overestimate the amount of frames you need.

once again, do not fucking waste too much time on details. i cannot emphasize this point enough. it only makes sense if ppl get to see your pictures for an extended period of time unanimated. painting and drawing game sprites are two totally different things.
added on the 2009-01-12 17:28:01 by havoc havoc
Wade: good info, thanks! Yeah, I discovered the difficulty of doing good gradient fills in complex shapes when I made tentative first steps...but I didn't know if I was just doing it wrong ;)
added on the 2009-01-12 18:09:37 by syphus syphus
"you need to desaturate the colours a bit. It will help them appear less cartoony and a bit more sophisticated"

Definitely, I know that. These were only the first try outs. Right now I am thinking about giving all enemies a similar color scheme. Maybe dark grey as the main color plus some colorful "decoration stripes".
I also find it difficult do add some originallity to the shape of different enemies... But I think this just takes time (as everything in pixeling) and some more more more sketches.

Thinking of the backgrounds wich I also have to draw gives me the shivers...
added on the 2009-01-12 19:40:10 by maw maw


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