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#1 (Insert)

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 10:28 AM

Not that anyone will ever look at this, but... I also see that our sprite and art community is dying lol

LATEST EDITIONS:
Certs
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Rex Koopa
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This is the result of smoking some pot. (Disclaimer: I actually didn't smoke anything. I'm just this crazy naturally.)
Stage 1 (JUL 21 2010):
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Stage 2 (JUL 22 2010):
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Progress Update (JUL 22 2010):
Walking animations
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Stage 3 (JUL 23 2010):
Redone character design. Mouth opening poses.
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Stage 4 (JUL 23 2010):
Finished chomp action. Added walking/running and jumping. Changed hair color back to solid black, and experimented with colors.
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Taken from this (which I drew in GIMP. I'm pretty surprised it isn't a total piece of crap. But it's still crap.)
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It's supposed to be my graphical representation. Cute, I know.
And I wasn't sure if I should follow just an 8 to 16 bit style? Or take an extra step with the 32-bit? After all, there isn't much detail to be displayed. The current WIP you're looking at up above is based off the 8-bit Final Fantasy (the first one pretty much) size, resolution, and style. And then of course the other sprite with some detail shading.

What do you guys think? lol

Even if the sprite isn't that great, you still gotta admit that's a neat drawing.


Edited by (Insert), 03 August 2010 - 02:55 PM.


#2 Linkmaster30000

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 10:54 AM

Besides that I have no idea what it is...

The 32-bit shading looks nice.


#3 (Insert)

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 11:45 AM

It's a termite I believe? At least that's what I've been told, and the conclusion I came to. I guess you could also say it's Halloween-esque? I think it has some similarity to Jack Skellington, and I've been told it looks like a skeleton pirate from Oracle of Ages/Seasons. (I have no idea what it is either, but we'll go with termite)

I think I'll follow through with the 32-bit shading? Yeah I think I will.

Oh and further, do you remember my character for DP's KG Spriter? The red black mage recolor from 8-bit FF games. Well, this sprite is based off of the 8-bit FF size for a reason. :Squee: Just in case DP ever decides to continue it, but either way I like the style anyway.

I just got told this on another site by a friend of mine; I'm at such a loss lol.

I like the 8-bit when zoomed.
Dislike the 8-bit when not zoomed.

I like the 32-bit when not zoomed.
Dislike the 32-bit when zoomed.


Edited by (Insert), 22 July 2010 - 11:52 AM.


#4 Linkmaster30000

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 02:26 PM

It's not from the Oracle games - I'd know what it is if it was.

You've had a lot of characters. Darth Vader, Rex, that "Red" Mage... I think I liked Rex the most. He was your longest running character, and he fit well with Phaeon, Spritaek, and Dras. Plus, with Bowser's Inside Story, you can get a crapload of sprites for him.

Just my two cents. Whatever you do is fine.


#5 (Insert)

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 03:20 PM

You've had a lot of characters. Darth Vader, Rex, that "Red" Mage... I think I liked Rex the most. He was your longest running character, and he fit well with Phaeon, Spritaek, and Dras. Plus, with Bowser's Inside Story, you can get a crapload of sprites for him.

Yeah I know :P I've dropped pretty much everything else, but I'm still keeping Rex (I'm working on his new sprite sheet right now. I figured since I'm a much more experienced spriter now, it's a bad chip on my rep using a recolor of someone else's sheet.) But Rex is Rex, and this one I'm working on is, well, me. And I do particularly like it due to its creative and unique value. I'll be baffled to see someone else out there do something similar to mine.

Also, more progress, walking animations:

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(First time animating with GIMP :D ) Yeah, it's only 4 frames, but the sprite's fairly small, I mean, it's just... there's not much to work with? lol I like how it came out I guess, thought I guess the left foot could use some improvement.

EDIT: [spoiler]Rex is also starring in A Tale for the Ages.

Edited by (Insert), 22 July 2010 - 03:22 PM.


#6 Ego

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 04:50 PM

NOTE: I wrote this before your latest post, and have been working on it since then. As such, I will not touch on your walking animation, seeing as I have changed the sprite. It is pretty good for your first animation in GIMP. Also, yeah, GIMP is awesome. I've used it for years. I can't figure out Photoshop... I am also ecstatic to hear that you're bringing out a whole non-recolor Rex, I'm super excited to see him. Rex is awesome.

On the sprite itself though, the thing you posted from another person actually makes a lot of sense. When zoomed out, sprites look pretty. When zoomed in, they look messy, a bit sloppy, and any odd pixel placements become more apparent. That's why final products are left zoomed out, and why you work at a very zoomed in level. It's also why I hate dithering; it looks all messed up when I'm zoomed in.

One (very easy) thing I would do first would be to change the background color behind the sprites. If you look at a lot of sprite sheets, they have weirdly colored backgrounds. This is to keep a white background from being confused with the white on the sprite. On MS Paint, if you were to try and move it with transparency, the face would be transparent too.
It's less complex than it sounds -_-'.

I'll try to just deal with the 32 bit one, because that's what you say you're continuing. How many colors are in that thing? You don't need half that many. 32 bit lets you have 16 colors. That doesn't mean you have to USE 16 colors. You can probably get away with less than half of that.
This is especially so with gray. Gray is weird. There are a few colors that you really have to push to show contrast. 0000ff(pure blue) is one of these. Gray is probably the most dangerous of these, because, unlike blue, it SHOWS when you get the contrast wrong with gray. As such, it's better to stick to only a couple of colors with gray so you don't fall into pits of "a little too much" or "a little too little" contrasts. When I say this, I'm looking at the sweatshirt more than anything. The colors on the top and bottom halves of the sweatshirt have not enough contrast. But the dark on the right of the sweatshirt has too much contrast compared to the others. Another contrast issue is on the face. On zooming in, I notice that there's a very faint gray used as anti-aliasing around the mouth and such. Normally, this is okay, except that I had to zoom in to see it! It's too faint. That color is effectively invisible there.
That's also why it looks better zoomed out than in right now. When zoomed in, you can see all these barely contrasting colors lined up and it looks weird, but when you zoom out, these colors vanish into their surroundings, and it looks like a single, solid block of color.

Readability: Readability is one of the most important aspects of a smaller sprite. This means the parts have to be easy to distinguish and see. With all of those very dark colors clustered in black, that sweatshirt just looks like a dark mass.
A wise spriter who really doesn't like me once said that a good way to improve the readability of a small sprite is to remove black lines inside the sprite. You can leave it on the outline, but that should be it. Black swallows everything around it. Black within the sprite will eventually eat up your entire sprite's readability. Instead, use the colors themselves to distinguish parts from each other. For example, remove the black line between sweatshirt and pants, using the difference in brightnesses to do the dividing. Along this line, I have simplified everything down to a base color and removed all of the black lines inside the sprite(and I fixed a couple of jaggies, and moved the hands down a bit, but that's it, I swear).
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Isn't he charming? I actually think it might be plausible to stop there...
But that wouldn't help you, now would it? Now, see how each part is clearly different from the others? It's readable. You can tell quite easily what each part is(even if we don't entirely know what it is overall). His pose also looks a little more relaxed there too, doesn't it.

From there, you just shade, only using what you need to define the character's shapes, paying special attention to making sure that each section stays distinguished. Also, remember that if you want it to, hair is shiny, so you can put highlights there too, but make sure the hair is obviously still black.
Here's mine:
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If you so please, you can cover each part with colors, and that should increase the color count. This will make it seem more like the 32 bit. Most 32 bit sprites have to split their 16 colors through a variety of colors. You only need to split it through one color right now: gray. If you take each part and make it a different color, you get closer to that color limit really fast.
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I gave him a tan-ish skin color, a red jacket, blue jeans, white gloves and shoes, and blue-black hair. The far left(simple) one has 4+transparency colors. The middle one(gray shaded) has 8+transparency colors. The far right one, the colored one, has 10+transparency colors, making it distinctly 32 bit.

I hope this has helped. Personally, I thank you, because I hadn't sprited in, like, a month, and this reminded me how much fun it is. I'm actually really proud of the end product I came up with from you base.

Good luck, and have fun!

Edited by Ego, 22 July 2010 - 04:51 PM.


#7 (Insert)

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 03:06 AM

Duly noted Ego my comrade. I do appreciate your suggestions and comments, as afterwards I realized how messy it was before. Now I didn't completely follow with your trend, as that would be unoriginal and smell of defeat (lol), but nevertheless I do like your revamp: it looks really nice, pretty cool indeed.

But I did take upon some of your suggestions, and improved on my design, giving him a more beast-like look.
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I haven't changed the background color since I'm just showing it at the moment, and it isn't for use (I'm also using a new "white" color, that's just barely gray, so it doesn't get lost with any transparent selections in white). But I've done that now. I've removed the black lines inside the sprite, and it does look much nicer. I think I'll stick with a 16-bit actually, as I really, really like the simplicity. And I also would like this to be zoom friendly, as he'll be taking a lot of close-up shots, and I never use a sprite character in a comic without at least 2X zoom (unless they're far away).

I do see that you gave him a skin tone, detailed eyes, and a more uniform mouth; which were all no-no's for me. Firstly, I intend for him to remain white, almost skeleton like, as I kind of want to keep with a Halloween-esque feel for the character. Going along with that, I guess its hard to tell with my GIMP drawing, but he also has no eyes. Just empty voids, like a big empty skull. And then the uniform mouth makes him seem, well, nice? lol Although I like to maintain a level of cuteness, I also want to go for a little malice and monster factor, so I kept with a jagged and un-uniform mouth.

Apologies for not completely following through, but you definitely helped me make some major improvements to the character design.

Edited by (Insert), 23 July 2010 - 09:57 AM.


#8 Ego

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 03:26 AM

Cool, I meant for you to diverge on your own some; wouldn't want copies, right?

Green BG like right there is fine. Also, off-whiting the sprite is a perfect alternative, with the only drawback being that pure white is still off-limits. Also, if it's only barely off-white, remember to turn the threshold on GIMP's select by color tool way down, probably to 0.
Skin tone was like the rest of the colors in that I was just showing how adding color increased the color count to become obviously higher-bit. None of the colors were intended to stick.
With the eyes, well, when I saw them and the "termite" idea my mind just saw the eyes as the all-black bug eyes. I considered how it would work as just sockets, and that's totally fine; probably cooler too.
With the mouth, well, I just couldn't find an un-uniform mouth that looked right in my head. The mouth you've created, however, is excellent.

One thing I note on your new one is the dark gray in the hair is mostly invisible.
The mouth-opening animation is very bestial, has a sort of energy to it. Consider AA-ing around the mouth of the widest opened one, but otherwise, great.
You haven't shaded the legs/shoes. Intentional, or did you just forget them, or something else? Because I find it a little odd to see the shaded upper half and then the unshaded.

No apology necessary. They were but suggestions, possibilities, one path to walk. But you are very welcome, and I hope I can continue to help :).

#9 (Insert)

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 10:22 AM

Yeah, it was originally a termite I guess, but after watching some Slender Man videos and all sorts of creepy Halloween things the idea kind of evolved into this cute but menacing beast that ate stuff and had no eyes.

And yes, I also neglected to shade the bottom half, but that will be done for my next progress update.
And I guess I should fix the hair color eh? Yeah. I'll see about getting it much lighter, but I still want his hair to appear very dark and messy, so I'll get that figured out. Thanks again.


#10 Ego

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 02:38 PM

Cool.
If it fits the style better, it's okay to leave it black.

#11 Phaeon

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 03:15 PM

I knew it reminded me of something... now I remember: http://www.serebii.n...ex-dp/328.shtml
And yeah, I'm not sure I'd go with all grey. There;s nothing wrong with pasty white skin, but having grey clothes too looks kind of bland to me. Even brown would be an improvement.


#12 (Insert)

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 05:36 PM

MOAR.

Finished chomp action. Added walking/running and jumping. Changed hair color back to solid black, and experimented with colors.
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#13 Ego

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 06:22 PM

For an interesting different effect on the chomp, try out motion blurs a la Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga. That game(which is surprisingly similar in style to this) used a fair amount of hand-done motion blurring to increase the sudden "snap" of an effect. The best examples can be seen when Mario uses his Hammer. The spritesheets are on The Spriter's Resource.(LINK)
Leg shading is good, animations in general look good, but I'd have to see them in motion to tell for sure.

Okay, I only did the walk, but it animates very smoothly.
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Looks a little silly to be walking in place, but hey, it's very smooth.

#14 Phaeon

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 06:47 PM

I think the oddness is due to the lack of body rotation. Moving the light part of his shirt even a pixel back and forth as he walks may look better (or may not, but I'd give it a try).

#15 (Insert)

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 04:11 AM

I wanted to post this really quick before my battery dies (laptop).

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I'm going to bed now. It's 4:09 AM. (No it's not an edit. I'll show you the WIP and some other poses (hopefully) next time. I built this sucker from the ground up.)

Yes, that's a goatee.





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