Graphics Generals And Conquest Sprites

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Chungsie

Guest

So I finally decided I would give animated sprites a chance in Gimp2. I don't know how to quite implement what I visualize in my mind, so they are likely awkward, but I think would be fun for a hack and slash. I am using a wireframe to plot out the movements, then layering on mass. I want to leave the mass basic, so I can do armors weapons and shield in a separate set of layers so the player can swap out gear without doing a complete edit on the sprite base.

What do you think? Should I quit spriting? :p

Well I finished all the animations for the PLayer in terms of mass and wire frame.



I am still trying to find out what I will use for the armor effectiveness hud display sprite(s). *This has an answer elsewhere on the forums :)

So I started on the starting gear for the player. just a roman general helmet to get things rolling :) for the idle animation.

Helmet 1 is done :)

 
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Dragoncat

Guest
They're about the level that I can do, I don't see any glaring issues, but I'm not an expert. Although I wonder what the last one before the wireframe is doing. The rest look like they're using weapons or something, but the fourth one...?
 

Yal

šŸ§ *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
From my experiences, trying to mimic a style you want to learn is the fastest way to get better at drawing... zoom in, and redo graphics in the same way by hand (sort of like "manual copypaste"), trying to keep an eye open for interesting tricks. You WILL notice interesting style choices this way, since you'll get a much closer look at it if you draw as you go along... and even if you don't consciously learn anything, you'll get mechanical experience, so it's not wasted time at all.
 

sylvain_l

Member
@Nux impressive

I'm at the very basic level, after some try, I think I'm going to stick to my best style aka prison architect/rimworld style (no arm, no feet, much easier to do the "animations" :p )
 
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Chungsie

Guest
@Yal that is sound advice. I've been drawing on paper for quite some time, and some friends say that they can immediately tell my work from others because of my style. I kind of want to develop into my own style if possible.

There is a saying among the First Nations, that every mistake that goes into a project, is your personal touch, your signature.
 

Hyomoto

Member
It's hard sometimes to look at what other people can accomplish and decide it's not worth it. In some ways, maybe that's true depending on the end result you want, but I'd never tell someone to give up. So yeah, keep going! If nothing else, your project will have a cohesive visual style and that's the most important aspect in my book. It doesn't matter how good your art looks if none of it matches!
 
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Chungsie

Guest
wow thanks! here is the completed character... idle-config-1.gif

I started on enviromental animations, for the first level, the player has to walk from tree to tree through the desert to hide from hawks (hawks are like scouts for the enemy). my last one was a ghaf, I ended up doing two ghaf trees. ghaf.gif I did not want to add leaves to this particular one.

to make all my drawings (on computer or paper) I always start with a skeleton simple wire frame to allow me to see how much mass needs bent and what not.Hawk-Flap_Template.gifI have been trying to get the turning of the hawk frame just right, but so far it's just a rotation. Hawk-Turn_Template.gifI already have an idea for improving on it, but I am wanting to work on the environments and menus a little more recently.
 

JoltJab

Member
Hey Chungsie! I have a few critiques for you if you want to hear/read them.

TLDR at the bottom

Ok so, my first impression is that the animations of the character are super stiff. From the movement to the anatomy, things just aren't quite right.

I know you can only do so much with pixel art, but there is still stuff like the thickness of the shoulders, curve of the spine, length of the legs (though that may be a style choice) that could read a bit better. A study and understanding of anatomy is super important even in pixel art!

The animation itself has a lot of still parts. Even if it's a punch, you can't just have the arm moving. You need to move the whole body! In my example below I have a run. As you can see every part of the character is moving and not just the legs.

Another thing to watch out for is change in proportion. An understanding of perspective is super helpful here. Keeping the length of each limb consistent (while keeping in mind perspective) will add a lot more believability to the animations.

Then there's stuff like timing. This is super important when it comes to games. Levels of responsiveness differ from game to game, and though I'm not sure what your game calls for, but anticipation is something you should always try to have in your animations. The amount of anticipation depends on how fast you want a reaction to happen. Right now your timing is flat and consistent and... um.. boring. This only helps in giving no weight to your character or his movements.

There's a lot of other animation tips I could give you, but the biggest and most important thing I could suggest is to go online and study the 12 principles of animation. Knowing and understanding this will become the foundation for all other animation tips learned.

Along with animation, there's color. Learning color theory can really help when picking nice colors. After learning color theory, looking at other people's work and see what colors they chose (and trying to figure out how it looks so good) will help you to choose awesome colors too. In my picture below you can see I made myself a swatch of colors to pick from. I came up with these colors through my understanding of color theory and studying others.

There's also shading. Understanding objects in three dimensions is vital to correct shading. Figure out where your light source is coming from, and darken the areas the light doesn't hit. This only applies if your art style includes shading (obviously). For some people, they tend to make the arm and leg farther away (in my example: the left arm and left leg) completely covered in shadow to help separate each arm and leg from one another. This can be included even if you don't have shading on your character (look the animation example compared to the still image next to it).






There is one other thing though. I haven't tried this out for pixel art but I feel it could still work for you if you wanted to try it. It's a bit like cheating, but can still help. Learning stuff like anatomy, the 12 principals of animation, color theory, and so on can take a lot of time, so how can you make better animations now?! Though I certainly suggest you still study these things, you can still cheat by recording yourself doing the action and drawing over yourself.

Your body is already the correct proportions, nice lighting can give you good shadows, and everything will move smoothly and realistically (because it IS real, obviously). Though there are down sides to doing this. You would need a good understanding of anatomy to change the proportions correctly (though this is still better than just guessing). Along with that, regular human moment looks weak, especially when used in animation. Learning what Keys, extremes, breakdowns, and inbetweens are can really help tell you which frames in your recording should be exaggerated, removed, or even have frames added. You could still use your wireframe idea if you draw it over yourself in the recording.




As far as quitting spriting... heck no! Well... as long as you're enjoying yourself you should keep spriting. You're making stuff and asking for critiques. Just keep doing you, you're moving in the right direction!


TLDR: do some anatomy study, study the 12 principles of animation, don't have still parts on your character (usually), keep proportions, keep in mind things like timing, learn color theory and shading, learn about keys, extremes, breakdowns, and inbetweens, and while you're learning all of that you can cheat and draw over recordings of yourself to get better results.


Hope that's helpful dude.
 
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Chungsie

Guest
oh wow. ya I have a lot to learn I admit. but I wanted something of this style I can do for my first game. don't get me wrong, I want to improve, so I will do my best to learn all that I can. :) I also appreciate your feedback
 
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Chungsie

Guest
Bush-bloom-1.gif I made this bush that the player can interact with and the npcs can hide behind. looks like a heart to some :p

no problem @JoltJab and thanks! fortunately I have a very friendly programmer who knows alot about gml and the engine already, all I got to do is make him low polly models for his project :)

and here is the background for the first level. I can't decide on what else to add really.Desert Passing.png
 
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Mandarieno

Guest
What do you think? Should I quit spriting?
Definitely keep it up and I'd say: don't bother too much about learning all that theory stuff when you start out. If you have fun with it, you will keep doing it and automatically get better at it.
Your style is fun to look at and somewhat reminds of of the game "Another World". :)
 
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