Design How can I improve this art? [New Pictures]

mar_cuz

Member
Hi Guys,

trying to do the art for my game. How do you think I could improve these walls?
I just can't seem to make a good colour palette and the style feels like it needs to feel more natural or something.

what do you think?

brick_walls.png

brick_walls_x2.png
 

Joe Ellis

Member
Hmm, out of the three the one on the right looks the most interesting, even though its a dull color, the red one reminds me of doom on the wolfenstein levels for some reason, which is good but I def feel like the right one is the most developed, the left one, seems like how you started with it, and the right one the most recent, I think just keep working on the right one and you'll work something out

Maybe add cracks, leaking, or just more shades of shading, and make it rough\uneven to emphasize the brick texture
 

mar_cuz

Member
Hmm, out of the three the one on the right looks the most interesting, even though its a dull color, the red one reminds me of doom on the wolfenstein levels for some reason, which is good but I def feel like the right one is the most developed, the left one, seems like how you started with it, and the right one the most recent, I think just keep working on the right one and you'll work something out

Maybe add cracks, leaking, or just more shades of shading, and make it rough\uneven to emphasize the brick texture
thanks. I like the right one as well. I just have trouble getting things to look right and I think it may be the colour palette.
 

JasonTomLee

Member
The middle and right ones look great!
I'd say you should adjust the palette to have a wider range of luminosity & contrast.

It shouldn't take too long w/the Color replacing tool in GMS2- good luck!
 

mar_cuz

Member
The middle and right ones look great!
I'd say you should adjust the palette to have a wider range of luminosity & contrast.

It shouldn't take too long w/the Color replacing tool in GMS2- good luck!
Thanks. Palettes, luminosity, contrast all so hard to get right haha
 

Toque

Member
I think they are dull because they have no texture. Google pixel art brick tutorial or
Dungeon wall tutorial.

Google brick wall and see what colours you like. Go off that.

Good start though.
 

deem93

Member
Like Toque said, your walls lack texture.
Also don't stick to one boring brick pattern, mix it up a little.
Walls don't have to be the same height either.
But I don't know what your vision is, what you are going for.
 

Yal

šŸ§ *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Some feedback:
  • Having multiple parallel lines of different colors introduces banding, the light pixels at the top of every brick make them stick out unnaturally. (The dark seams between the top bricks of the red wall has a similar problem)
  • You missed shading the center of the red wall, it kinda sticks out at a glance.
  • The walls lack texture, try adding random light and dark pixels to every brick (taking care to make adjacent bricks have different patterns). The rightmost wall has a bit of that, but you need to add details to every brick - stones aren't completely smooth, especially not if they've been in use for a few years.
  • Lines and rectangles look unnatural, so try to have your details break rectangles and lines (e.g. make L and T shapes out of lines by adding a little pixel at the right spot).
  • Having stones of non-uniform sizes also makes them seem more natural, you see this in really old walls a lot (where people used actual STONES instead of forming bricks from clay).
  • Palette-wise, add a little bit of blue to the dark color and a little bit of red/yellow to the light color (using the "blend" mode to draw a low-alpha pure blue/yellow on top of your original color is a simple way to achieve this), shadows in real life usually are cooler and lit areas warmer color-wise.
 

mar_cuz

Member
Some feedback:
  • Having multiple parallel lines of different colors introduces banding, the light pixels at the top of every brick make them stick out unnaturally. (The dark seams between the top bricks of the red wall has a similar problem)
  • You missed shading the center of the red wall, it kinda sticks out at a glance.
  • The walls lack texture, try adding random light and dark pixels to every brick (taking care to make adjacent bricks have different patterns). The rightmost wall has a bit of that, but you need to add details to every brick - stones aren't completely smooth, especially not if they've been in use for a few years.
  • Lines and rectangles look unnatural, so try to have your details break rectangles and lines (e.g. make L and T shapes out of lines by adding a little pixel at the right spot).
  • Having stones of non-uniform sizes also makes them seem more natural, you see this in really old walls a lot (where people used actual STONES instead of forming bricks from clay).
  • Palette-wise, add a little bit of blue to the dark color and a little bit of red/yellow to the light color (using the "blend" mode to draw a low-alpha pure blue/yellow on top of your original color is a simple way to achieve this), shadows in real life usually are cooler and lit areas warmer color-wise.
Thanks for the advice it's very helpful
 

NeoShade

Member
I'm not an artist, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but the thing that would bug me most about these walls in a game are the tops.

The middle wall where you're actually continued the brickwork on the top surface would become too busy, while the other two walls have the appearance of being made out of paper because there's absolutely no texture to the top of the wall whatsoever. What might work (and again, not an artist, so this might be a terrible idea) is to continue the brick texture onto the top of the walls, but then a few pixels in from the edges, have a black/very dark "hollow section" in the walls.
 

mar_cuz

Member
I'm not an artist, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but the thing that would bug me most about these walls in a game are the tops.

The middle wall where you're actually continued the brickwork on the top surface would become too busy, while the other two walls have the appearance of being made out of paper because there's absolutely no texture to the top of the wall whatsoever. What might work (and again, not an artist, so this might be a terrible idea) is to continue the brick texture onto the top of the walls, but then a few pixels in from the edges, have a black/very dark "hollow section" in the walls.
I totally agree with you. And truth is I intend to follow the brick work onto the top of the wall. I am just trying to find a style and look for the main part of the wall first. Thanks for your input though it's all welcome
 

YanBG

Member
You went with isometric after all?

I like the black top most, but depends on what kind of map the wall will be used. Is it for a dungeon, e.g a lot of black voids? Or a surface town/castle wall? If it's a house i'll cover it with a roof as long as you are not inside of it.
 

mar_cuz

Member
You went with isometric after all?

I like the black top most, but depends on what kind of map the wall will be used. Is it for a dungeon, e.g a lot of black voids? Or a surface town/castle wall? If it's a house i'll cover it with a roof as long as you are not inside of it.
This wall will be an outside wall. I'm still not happy with it though. Outside walls will be covered by a roof and inside ones will have the black void. It's a test to see if I can do the isometric art to a level I neef. If not I may have to do the oblique style.
 
L

Lilvulpix

Guest
This wall will be an outside wall. I'm still not happy with it though. Outside walls will be covered by a roof and inside ones will have the black void. It's a test to see if I can do the isometric art to a level I neef. If not I may have to do
Keep in mind that if you spend too much time trying to 'perfect' your art, you will spend less time actually making the game. Basically, focus on getting the assets made. That practice will improve your skill faster then trying to perfect each asset as you go. There is nothing wrong (and it is common) for assets to be redrawn later down the road. There is no shame in it.

Make all of your assets, get them done. Then start working on updating the earlier assets to match the later assets. Redesign parts based on what you learned making the assets in the first place. (Example, look at the 'evolution' of Sebastian's portrait on the Stardew Valley wiki page.) Getting the assets done also enables you to start working on the coding while 'reworking' older assets with newer pixel art skills. Your game will continue to actually move forward, instead of being stuck in quicksand of 'perfection'.

Art has a nasty habit of going in it's own direction. Even Boris Vallejo stated that many of his works would turn out very different from what he intended when he started it.
 

ajan-ko

Member
1. Walls, always have cracks. Put some cracks on it.
2. What kind of atmosphere you want to make? It's dark dungeon style? It's crazy dungeon style?
3. It's better to make full mockup first rather draw-per-parts.
 

Kyon

Member
What I always do to make things less static is ruin the straight lines.
I made an example for you:


Makes it more alive/more real. But it could be a personal preference.
This example is maybe even too much, but if you do it just a tiny tiny bit it can really improve a picture.
 

mar_cuz

Member
I feel like I can't get the palettes right. It always just feels off. anybody got any tips for choosing palettes please?

960x540isogridtest_4.png
960x540isogridtest_4L.png

just doesn't feel like game art to me.
 

mar_cuz

Member
The problem I find is most older professional isometric games used prerendered 3d assets. Very few used pixel art from what I found
 

NeoShade

Member
I like the rightmost one a lot, but it's hard to say if the colours are going to work well or not without seeing it in context. On its own, I think it looks great, but it may suffer next to your other assets.
 

mar_cuz

Member
I like the rightmost one a lot, but it's hard to say if the colours are going to work well or not without seeing it in context. On its own, I think it looks great, but it may suffer next to your other assets.
Thanks. I think you might have found the issue. I'm not seeing it in context so feel something is missing when it's by itself. I'll make some more assets to tray and see it in context.
 

Rayek

Member
Perhaps expand your search to the 16bit era, such as older Amiga games. Some absolutely gorgeous isometric pixel art from those times.
Some examples are Darkmere and Cadaver:







Head over Heels (free) remake:


And look on Deviantart for good looking isometric pixel art:





That should get you inspired. :)
 

mar_cuz

Member
Perhaps expand your search to the 16bit era, such as older Amiga games. Some absolutely gorgeous isometric pixel art from those times.
Some examples are Darkmere and Cadaver:







Head over Heels (free) remake:


And look on Deviantart for good looking isometric pixel art:





That should get you inspired. :)
Hey that's some great examples thanks. The 16 bit is not exactly the style I am after but the deviant art stuff is fantastic.
 

YanBG

Member
The problem I find is most older professional isometric games used prerendered 3d assets. Very few used pixel art from what I found
Some were drawn i think. In the older answers you got ideas how to add small cracks and shaded spots. Should look like it's 3d lighted. Don't limit yourself to 8 colors, make it atleast 256.

Also you are not an artist right? I'd worry more about the gameplay and work on the code. Who knows in future you might get more ideas and time for graphical updates.
 
Last edited:

Yal

šŸ§ *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
. Don't limit yourself to 8 colors, make it atleast 256
Limiting yourself to fewer colors makes it easier to make details, though... I remember an "how to draw manga" book by Akira Toriyama suggesting using 3 colors (light, shadow, middle)... in hand-drawn art you can blend colors more easily, but I still think it kinda holds up. You shouldn't force yourself to use just a handful of colors for no reason, but just using a handful makes it easier to do details because you don't need to think about what color to use (there's only one fitting color for each type of detail)
 

YanBG

Member
Limiting yourself to fewer colors makes it easier to make details
Depends if it's only that wall or the whole game? There is even grayscale but he probably want the game to be interesting for kids and popular not high art.
 

NeoShade

Member
I think this is a big improvement! I suspect, however, that if you had this many details per this much wall in a full scale environment, it might become a little overwhelming. Maybe this many details over twice that much wall would be a better ratio, but that's just something you'll have to play around with. Otherwise I think it looks great.
 

mar_cuz

Member
I think this is a big improvement! I suspect, however, that if you had this many details per this much wall in a full scale environment, it might become a little overwhelming. Maybe this many details over twice that much wall would be a better ratio, but that's just something you'll have to play around with. Otherwise I think it looks great.
Thanks. I agree there will be much more in the view so perhaps a little less detail each wall would be more pleasing
 

YanBG

Member
I think it's fine, if you place tiles this can be the ruined one, the old cleaner look would be the new one. You can have one with torch or bars/pipes.
 
It's hard to tell if the walls look alright for your game without knowing what the rest of your game is going to look like. Everything in your game should compliment each other. Does the player stick out from the wall or does it blend in? Personally, I like the new walls you made a few posts up, they look really nice.
 
Top