Java-Gaming.org    
Featured games (81)
games approved by the League of Dukes
Games in Showcase (498)
Games in Android Showcase (114)
games submitted by our members
Games in WIP (563)
games currently in development
News: Read the Java Gaming Resources, or peek at the official Java tutorials
 
    Home     Help   Search   Login   Register   
Pages: [1]
  ignore  |  Print  
  Pixel Art, How can I be less terrible?  (Read 1820 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Offline Gibbo3771
« Posted 2014-05-14 13:40:57 »

So I am trying my absolute hardest to learn how to draw decent pixel art, I have remade a Spaceship sprite at least 10x over and it still looks like utter gash.

Ignoring the fact it looks more like a fighter jet, it just looks "flat" and terrible, I don't what what the hell I am doing wrong. I look at all these tutorials on the best ways to build up, some say start with an outline, then separate each part and select base colors, then add shading...others are saying start with a silhouette and just jump right into breaking up the image using a light source.

I feels as if I am reading tutorials, then going wow that sprite is so simple but looks cool! I attempt it, it looks like shit.

Does anyone have any tips?

I am wanting to create various Spaceship sprites, each using a "metallic" like palette but of various colors. I just can't see to get it right, I can create shapes ok, I am not going with the traditional Spaceship that is shaped like a huge member but instead abstract and cool looking ones.

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline Drenius
« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-05-14 13:45:46 »

Tinker around and keep working on one even if you think its not good.
It can still become in a later step, but it takes some time and -like said- tinkering.
Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-05-14 13:52:56 »

Tinker around and keep working on one even if you think its not good.
It can still become in a later step, but it takes some time and -like said- tinkering.

Guess everything takes practice.

How would I deal with choosing the amount of pixels I work with? Currently atm I am using a relatively small canvas of 24x16 for this particular spaceship, I was wanting to keep it small in order to make it simple.

However this will make my game art inconsistent, as my unit system is 1 unit = 16px. So say my spaceship fires a missile, it's either going to be sharper due to being smaller with same res as a spaceship or look terrible because it is essentially a pixel or 2.

Any ideas for that?

Should I up scale my entire unit system?

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Drenius
« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-05-14 14:01:42 »

Quote
Guess everything takes practice.
Seemingly you misunderstood me. Not you need practice, but it just takes time to get a sprite to where it looks good.

If you have a problem with using a non-quadratic format, just don't use one.  Wink
Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-05-14 14:27:32 »

Quote
Guess everything takes practice.
Seemingly you misunderstood me. Not you need practice, but it just takes time to get a sprite to where it looks good.

If you have a problem with using a non-quadratic format, just don't use one.  Wink

Fair enough, I am ok using it, making it look good however... :p

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline ctomni231

JGO Wizard


Medals: 99
Projects: 1
Exp: 7 years


Not a glitch. Just have a lil' pixelexia...


« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-05-14 15:27:41 »

You can try drawing it big and shrinking it down, then cleaning up the pixels using layers and noise.

Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-05-14 15:43:03 »

You can try drawing it big and shrinking it down, then cleaning up the pixels using layers and noise.

Lol yeah that is never going to happen, I honestly can't draw at all. I need a lot of practice but I did manage to come up with this...

What can I do to make it better?


"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline Drenius
« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-05-14 17:09:20 »

This looks actually pretty good.
What you can improve depends on what you want it to be, e.g. some more shadow effects for a more serious mood or something...
Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-05-14 17:10:47 »

This looks actually pretty good.
What you can improve depends on what you want it to be, e.g. some more shadow effects for a more serious mood or something...

Yeah that is the part I always struggle with, trying to make it look more shadowy. I always end up messing up up lol.

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline trollwarrior1
« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-05-14 17:11:22 »

If that ship is horrible, you should look at mine.

I'm not good at all at drawing nice shapes. I'm good at shading. I can make shit looking shapes look good by adding shades.

What you can do is make some parts of the ship brighter/darker depending on the curves of the surface, giving it more depth.

EDIT-
Now that I'm taking a closer look at the ship zoomed in, it has some detail man.. This ship is nowhere near looking horrible.
My drawings look 10x more horrible Cheesy
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Rayvolution

JGO Kernel


Medals: 199
Projects: 2
Exp: 1 year


Resident Crazyman


« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-05-14 18:10:32 »

That ship is exceptionally good, you should be proud of it! You crammed a lot of detail in a tiny space, and that's the cornerstone to becoming an awesome pixel artist. Cheesy

I think what you're struggling with is depth shading and color balance, they're some of the trickiest things in pixel art to hammer down. I still struggle with it today with some designs, because every piece you work on is a little different. But the idea is to keep your uniformed base shape bold and visible so it's obvious where the accents/pieces are, then shade each piece individually while thinking about shadows casting down on top of it. Also, while it feels like it defies all logic when drawing pixel art, usually to get a natural looking shading effect you have to purposely make your shading a bit non-uniform, but still all generally coming from one direction. Once you get really good at making shading based on light sources you can get your image to *really* pop. Personally, I draw everything assuming the light is hitting it from the top left, and add 2 or 3 layers of same-color shading that's just a hair darker or lighter than the base color I am working with.

It's a bit hard to explain, so I said screw and made this: Tongue
->

here's the original PSD with all the colors layered if you want to play with it in more depth. If you don't have Photoshop, It should open up in GIMP, not sure about paint.net.
http://sixtygig.com/junk/Scout1.psd

Also, feel free to use my updated version in your game royalty/credit-free if you want. I don't mind at all. Wink

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Offline Rorkien
« Reply #11 - Posted 2014-05-14 18:48:16 »

That ship sprite is really good (although it looks like a jetplane), but here are some tips:

You drew your ship totally plain, without any lightning or shadow. That's quite uncommon, but not bad at all. If you can keep the same standard on your entire game, it might even turn great!

Also, don't try to make your art exactly like some other developer/artist. Instead, try to attach your own signature, your own style to it.

Rayvolution added his own touches on the sprite, and it also looks pretty good; But again, it's all about style. Some people like their art to have the least amount of different shades as possible, whereas some other people (myself included) like to smoothly transition the colors.

PuppyGames's games always use that shady looking art with vibrating neon tones, which i find awesome.
Whereas for myself, my art style is really clunky, and i love to add noise on everything, so they look pretty dirty. I'm okay with that. Below lies the spritesheet of an old game of mine. As you can see, i find more satisfying to draw nature assets.



tl;dr: keep drawing and practicing until you find your art confortable.
Offline seismic

Senior Member


Medals: 4
Projects: 1



« Reply #12 - Posted 2014-05-14 19:17:41 »

It's a bit hard to explain, so I said screw and made this: Tongue
->

I thought the original sprite was already nice but you "upgraded" it really nice.
HOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW?! Cheesy
Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #13 - Posted 2014-05-14 19:38:09 »

I must say, thank you all.

Also Rayvolution...you literally just "opened" my mind, as soon as you posted that I managed to completely change the look of my sprite by fading colors from dark to light and light to dark smoothly, add more highlights and shadows, it is not as details as yours but I can defo see a difference.



As you can see I added 2 little circleish things at each side of the ship, those are for weapons Smiley


"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline Rayvolution

JGO Kernel


Medals: 199
Projects: 2
Exp: 1 year


Resident Crazyman


« Reply #14 - Posted 2014-05-14 19:47:16 »

I must say, thank you all.

Also Rayvolution...you literally just "opened" my mind, as soon as you posted that I managed to completely change the look of my sprite by fading colors from dark to light and light to dark smoothly, add more highlights and shadows, it is not as details as yours but I can defo see a difference.



Looks a lot better now. Glad I could help! Cheesy

You could try slightly darker colors for your shadows. One trick to keep in mind is more contrast equals more depth. So you want the edges around your primary shapes to be a bold, dark color. Then, for the shading you want to pick 2 or 3 lighter than base, and darker than base colors. Usually your darkest/lightest shades will be on the more contrasted/extreme side and the middle shades below it would be closer to the base color. then, just shade away!

But, you're definitely on the right track, tons of improvement in the new one. Cheesy

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Offline AppleSauce
« Reply #15 - Posted 2014-05-14 23:29:38 »

You can try drawing it big and shrinking it down, then cleaning up the pixels using layers and noise.

Lol yeah that is never going to happen, I honestly can't draw at all. I need a lot of practice but I did manage to come up with this...

What can I do to make it better?



You made it sound a lot worse. It looks great to me.
Offline Spider_hip

Junior Newbie





« Reply #16 - Posted 2014-09-20 00:16:56 »

I had never create an pixel art image before. Actually I had never drawn anything except stickman before Smiley. But when I read your posts, I inspired from you. So I made my first pixel art. I worked on Photoshop Cs6. So here is the results;




What do you think ? Should I go on ? I hope to be better on next tries. By the way if you like it you can use it as you wish credit-free Smiley
Offline matanui159

Junior Newbie


Exp: 10-12 months


Aww... So cute...


« Reply #17 - Posted 2014-09-20 00:38:59 »

I am horrible at pixel art
Mainly because I have OCD so no matter what I make it has to have some sort of pattern to it which in the end, ruins the image...

Instead I use sprites from sites like kenney.nl but it is annoying when they don't have the one sprite I need...

So if anyone has pixel art skills and at the same time being a programmer, u definitely have an advantage...

Is it sad that I still get a fright when the computer beeps at me...
Offline Hamenopi

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1
Exp: 4-6 months


Oh Hai!


« Reply #18 - Posted 2014-09-20 02:22:17 »

I'm actually jumping into pixel art myself. I used to paint miniatures in the past and the concept is similar. There are a lot of guide on how to pixel art. Read some, join a pixel art community or forum and check out their art for inspiration. You can check my yt channel for some stuff (not professional) too

Offline Spider_hip

Junior Newbie





« Reply #19 - Posted 2014-09-20 09:23:49 »

Well actually I recieved some nice feedbacks about my spaceship. But now I wonder that how can I draw this plane as tilted. I mean as going right or left. I saw some pixel art ships like that but I have no clue about how to draw it.

I simply tried it with Flash Cs6 3d option but it sucks. So do I also have to draw it from scratch. If so are there any tips or general formulas about it.

Pages: [1]
  ignore  |  Print  
 
 

 

Add your game by posting it in the WIP section,
or publish it in Showcase.

The first screenshot will be displayed as a thumbnail.

BurntPizza (20 views)
2014-09-21 02:42:18

BurntPizza (14 views)
2014-09-21 01:30:30

moogie (14 views)
2014-09-21 00:26:15

UprightPath (25 views)
2014-09-20 20:14:06

BurntPizza (27 views)
2014-09-19 03:14:18

Dwinin (42 views)
2014-09-12 09:08:26

Norakomi (73 views)
2014-09-10 13:57:51

TehJavaDev (97 views)
2014-09-10 06:39:09

Tekkerue (49 views)
2014-09-09 02:24:56

mitcheeb (70 views)
2014-09-08 06:06:29
List of Learning Resources
by Longor1996
2014-08-16 10:40:00

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2014-08-05 19:33:27

Resources for WIP games
by CogWheelz
2014-08-01 16:20:17

Resources for WIP games
by CogWheelz
2014-08-01 16:19:50

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2014-07-31 16:29:50

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2014-07-31 16:26:06

List of Learning Resources
by SilverTiger
2014-07-31 11:54:12

HotSpot Options
by dleskov
2014-07-08 01:59:08
java-gaming.org is not responsible for the content posted by its members, including references to external websites, and other references that may or may not have a relation with our primarily gaming and game production oriented community. inquiries and complaints can be sent via email to the info‑account of the company managing the website of java‑gaming.org
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Managed by Enhanced Four Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!