Roots' Art Feedback Thread

For discussing and sharing all forms of artwork related to the game

Moderator: Staff

User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Mon May 02, 2011 6:49 pm

This thread is for me to share art that I'm working on and for everyone else to give me feedback and to help me improve my skills as an artist and the art that I produce. I've done a little artwork for Allacrost in the past, but they were mostly simple tiles or alterations on another's work. Since we're currently lacking an art team, I'm trying to do what I can to help fill that very large gap.

--------------------------------------------------

Here's the first creation that I want to share. This is an enemy battle sprite encountered in the early game (first dungeon). Both the 1x and 2x zoom are in the draft image below. Hopefully you can tell what it is without me telling you. :)

Image


What I've had trouble with the most in this piece is distinguishing between the different parts of the body (wings, torso, head, upper back) smoothly. I couldn't really grasp a better way to do it than how its done in this draft, so any tips are appreciated. I also know that I need to improve the form of the shadow a bit (I didn't spend too much time there yet).

The wing bones are done in red, but I don't think the color meshes very well. I modeled this sprite after the Mexican Free-tailed bat, which has red wing bones if you look at photo of one. I'm not sure what color would be better though, as I don't want to make it black or gray since then they'll be much harder to see. I tried experimenting with different shades of red...maybe I need to keep trying and find a color that is a mix between red and gray.

One thing that I do think I did very well was the chest. I thought I did the shading there spot on. But I'm not sure if I did the shading of the wings correctly. I'm sure they could use some improvement; I just don't know what that would be. Also I wasn't sure if I should use a dark outline around the entire sprite or not. In the early stages of the work I didn't have a dark line along the bottom of the wings, but then I decided to add it in later and I think it looks better.

The final headache for me was the head (pun intended). Its such a small area that its hard for me to fit any detail there. I had small ears at one point, but removed them because I couldn't make them stand out with all the other gray pixels around. The eyes are a bright red, but maybe they're too bright because its really hard to see them in the 1x zoom. It almost hurts my eyes trying to look at them. Maybe a darker red would work better?
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Wed May 04, 2011 6:27 am

I thought about this bat a little today and I'm thinking I should remove the wing bones entirely and instead use darker shades where the bones are, and lighter shades on the actual skin flaps. I have a feeling that would look much better. If I get around to it I may make a second draft with that change and see how it looks.
Image
User avatar
Jetryl
Artist
Posts: 1485
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:35 am
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Jetryl » Wed May 04, 2011 7:03 am

Image
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Fri May 06, 2011 11:10 pm

(Jetryl and I had a discussion on IRC a couple days ago about this sprite and his changes)

Well I had a huge help there. Here's my refinements to Jetryl's version:

Image

Major differences:
- Lessened the amount of the light gray tone used on the wings and body
- Improved eyes and fangs
- Used different red tones for the wing bones
- Created a much better shadow
- Minor alterations to tail, face, chest


I felt like there was too much of that light gray tone in Jetryl's version so I dialed it down a tone. I also set the wing bones back to all red, as I don't think the mix of light grey + light red + orange looked very good. I used darker shades of red this time and I think it looks much much better.


I'm 95% satisfied with this image now, but I have the following concerns.
- I think the shoulder joints of the wing bones needs to blend in more cleanly with the grey tones, similar to how Jetryl's draft did (but I'll use a darker grey).
- Still not fully satisfied with the shading on the left-most wing, particularly the further out from the torso it gets. I'll play around with the shading here some.
- Wondering if the chest shading should undergo a little work. I'm not sure if the blend between light grey and brown/orange is playing out the best in some spots.
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Fri May 06, 2011 11:50 pm

Roots wrote:I'm 95% satisfied with this image now, but I have the following concerns.
- I think the shoulder joints of the wing bones needs to blend in more cleanly with the grey tones, similar to how Jetryl's draft did (but I'll use a darker grey).
- Still not fully satisfied with the shading on the left-most wing, particularly the further out from the torso it gets. I'll play around with the shading here some.
- Wondering if the chest shading should undergo a little work. I'm not sure if the blend between light grey and brown/orange is playing out the best in some spots.


And here is the version with those concerns addressed:

Image


You may notice that I replaced the lightest gray shade entirely with something that is light but not drastically so. I think this shade is a much better progression across the spectrum from the darkest to lightest grey tones. So hmm, is this sprite done? If so I can make the three damage frames for it and then stick it in the game. Its not ideal to make damage frames and then go and change the original image (the one showing no damage) so we should always try to avoid doing that.
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Tue May 10, 2011 3:55 am

My bat is finished, including the damage frames, and now in our source repository:

http://allacrost.svn.sourceforge.net/vi ... g?view=log (Click "Download" on this page to view the sprite)
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Fri May 20, 2011 7:27 pm

Image

Jetryl created a tile for stairs, rujasu added a rail, and I've expanded on both. This is the result of my work. The stairs can be as wide or as tall as we wish. I put together several mockups to demonstrate various staircases from various perspectives.


#1: Rail on both sides, seen from the bottom
When you approach the black area, the map context will change to show #2. This staircase is 64 pixels wide, but only has a 32 pixel space for the sprite to walk (you can not walk on the rails).

#2: Rail on both sides, seen from the top
Note that the bottom of the rail posts are not shown when you're looking down from above. Same thing with the top of the posts not being show in #1.

#3: Rail on one side, alongside a wall
This looks great. The only downside here is that for this particular configuration to work, the side wall tiles have to be put at exactly the 16 pixel mark (ie, half the 32 pixel tile area is transparent). For the harrvah interior tileset this holds true for the right walls, but not the left (which align exactly on the 32 pixel boundary). We may want to create an alternative set of left-side wall tiles that go to the 16 pixel boundary so we can have this stair configuration on both sides. Also note that in this case, the walkable width area of the stairs is 48 pixels instead of 32 pixels, like #1 and #2 were.

#4: Single staircase with rail
This one is more of an experiment. We have single-sized staircases so I was wondering how it would look with a rail alongside the stairs, but not on the stairs. The rail is necessary because it marks the collision grid and makes the space unwalkable, whereas all the stair tiles are otherwise collision-free. if the rail was not there, you could walk sideways from the bottom of the floor to the middle of the staircase.



The only improvements I think are needed are on the rail.

- Post height
I tried to make the rail posts to be the correct height so that they came up to about the waist of a typical adult. I think the might be better if they were a little bit taller.

- Shading
I'm not sure if the shading on the rail that I did was the best, but I couldn't think of a better way to shade it. Any suggestions here are welcome.

- Rail/post connections
I think this is the worst part. The rail "connects" to the post at both the bottom and top posts. The bottom one looks okay I think, but the top connection needs some help. There's a single black line separating the rail from the post (the rail is connected to the top area of the post, so the bottom portion of the top post is completely obscured by the rail). Its not obvious though. Its also difficult to draw the distinction because the rail and posts are the same color
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Fri May 20, 2011 9:11 pm

Image


I realized that we needed some connector images for the counters since we only had vertical and horizontal ones. So, I created the four corner connectors you see at the top left. I created a couple mockups as well, one with a stand-alone counter (ie no walls nearby) for a weapon shop, and another for an item shop or inn with the counters connected to the walls.

I think these are reasonably good. The connector images could use another smoothing over so they blend better with the horizontal/vertical pieces, but that can always be tweaked later. It was a little difficult to do since the orientation of the wood patterns is different for horizontal versus vertical. I'm wondering if maybe we should just make the wooden pattern direction the same for all pieces? :shrug:
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Sat May 21, 2011 12:06 am

I need a skeleton corpse for the cave map I'm putting together for the prologue, so I threw together something very quickly:

Image

Obviously this still has a long way to go, but I'm adding it in to SVN as a placeholder for now. I think I did an okay job with the colors and shading, but the anatomy was a real struggle for me since I only had a small amount of pixels to work with. I was also having trouble getting the features of the skull to look right...I was hoping to make it look more menacing and less cartoon-ish. :shrug:
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Sun May 22, 2011 8:39 pm

I started working on a new enemy sprite today. I had this concept in my mind a week ago for one of the demons that the player faces when Harrvah is attacked. Its a wolf-like demon, which I thought could have sharp claws for nails, drool dripping from its fangs, and perhaps even some horns sticking out from its shoulder blades. For now, all I've done is the line art for it, as i figured it would be important to get that correct before going on to shade it and add all the nasty details.

Image

I tried to draw it in a very aggressive stance, leaning forward with its body low to the ground and its rear end high in the air, as if it were about to lunge forward and strike. I think the rear legs could use some work as that part of its body looks too passive compared to the rest. I was also having a difficult time getting the torso to be the right length and size, and I'm still not sure if I'm completely satisfied with it after tweaking it about a dozen times as I was creating this.

I don't think its too bad of a first draft given my current skill level though? :shrug:
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Mon May 23, 2011 2:16 am

Draft #2 of wolf demon. Added some simple shading and details.

Image

I'm not sure that I chose the best set of colors here. I thought I'd try to make its color set be a sort of "dark violet", but I think I chose colors that were a bit too bright and "happy". Maybe not though. Had some trouble getting those fangs to look right. I'm also clueless as to how I should do the shading for the side of the torso to give it depth and detail.
Image
User avatar
Jetryl
Artist
Posts: 1485
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:35 am
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Jetryl » Wed May 25, 2011 9:46 am

Roots wrote:I realized that we needed some connector images for the counters since we only had vertical and horizontal ones. So, I created the four corner connectors you see at the top left. I created a couple mockups as well, one with a stand-alone counter (ie no walls nearby) for a weapon shop, and another for an item shop or inn with the counters connected to the walls.

I think these are reasonably good. The connector images could use another smoothing over so they blend better with the horizontal/vertical pieces, but that can always be tweaked later. It was a little difficult to do since the orientation of the wood patterns is different for horizontal versus vertical. I'm wondering if maybe we should just make the wooden pattern direction the same for all pieces? :shrug:


I actually think it adds a little more visual interest to have the contrasting-angles-of-grain there, and what you've done with the corner pieces is well-done enough that I have nothing to improve. Rock on.
:approve:

Regarding said visual interest, you basically want to cut every corner you can to add it to a game like this, even if that means breaking some rules and doing some stuff that's a little counterintuitive or nonsensical (like flipped wood grain). "Looks better" should always win in those cases.
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Sat May 28, 2011 5:04 pm

Here's something I'm working on for the Harrvah castle tileset.

Image

Its a pretty basic column that I made from scratch this morning. There are some choices that I'm struggling with though and I've been fiddling around with it for a while now. The column is actually divided into three sections with different techniques, which is why this looks slightly funny right now. The top section has no outline and no dithering. The mid section has no outline and uses dithering. And the bottom section has a black outline and uses dithering. Questions I'm asking myself right now include:

1) Is dithering a technique that I should be making use of? Or should I just increase the number of shades to achieve the smooth blending effect? I'm worried that with dithering, its going to look ugly when the tile is displayed in full size in the game. It looks fine from my monitor's standard resolution.


2) Should I remove the black outline entirely? I originally only had the black lines on the base of the column and started covering them up, but it looked bad. Then I thought to try and put a black outline along the column itself, and I thought that looked pretty good. I think since the column "sticks out" from the background and isn't a direct part of a floor or wall, the outline works well. I also tried coloring the outline a dark grey instead of pure black, but that didn't look very good to me.


3) I'm having trouble with the shading where the column meets the base. I tried removing the outline separating the column and base and blending in the shading from the column with the top shading of the highest level base, but it wasn't looking right. So I aborted and went back to having an outline between column and base. I feel it should be removed though... :eyebrow:


I think the column base dimensions are "acceptable", although I'm not completely satisfied with it. Creating the outline for that took me longer than anything else and I re-did it multiple times to make sure the layers were consistently sized. I was a little worried about the bottom-most base layer being a little too diagonal and not rounded enough....I still don't know if I'm completely happy with it. :|
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Sat May 28, 2011 5:30 pm

Doesn't look very good right now when its placed among art done by "real" artists. :(

Image
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Sat May 28, 2011 6:15 pm

After receiving some tips from the kind folks in #opengameart and an especially big boost from MrBeast, this is starting to look pretty durn nice. :cool:

Image

I updated the mockup image as well and added the second draft column to it.
Image
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Sun May 29, 2011 4:07 pm

Image

- Removed outlines on column base
- Minor improvements to shading
- Created a top by flipping the base
- Edit: improved the shading of the edges on the base

I'm not sure if the top I created is "legal" in the sense that I made no modifications to the lighting/shading of the base when I flipped it and stuck it on top. It looks fine to me though? :shrug:


The cool thing about this design is that we can make multiple versions of the base and column to enable us to "mix and match" different tiles to create different styles of columns. For example, a square base instead of a rounded one, texture the column with indents (example here), add decorations, etc. I'm hoping to get around to doing a couple different variations once this first version is in a final state.
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Tue May 31, 2011 10:42 am

I'm working on some icon images for target type indicators that I wanted to share. These are meant to represent all eight possible target types in the game (Self/Ally/Enemy, Self/Ally/Enemy with Attack Point, All Allies, All Enemies).

First I slapped together a quick first draft using some other images I had laying around:
Image


I realized a number of deficiencies with it, such as it being hard to tell the party icons apart from the single actor icons, the attack point target reticle wasn't that great, etc. So I spent some time to come up with this second version:
Image

What I changed:
- Created a skull image from scratch to represent an enemy. I needed something that was smaller and a little more generic than what I had in the first draft.
- Changed the orientation for creating the party icons so that its much easier to tell that the target type effects multiple targets
- Improved the targeting reticle coloring
- Made very minor adjustments to the colored borders

What I'm still pondering:
- I kept using Claudius' head as the "ally" icon. I was thinking of maybe trying to make something more generic to match the generic skull that represents the enemy, but I didn't know if it would be wroth the time/effort and probably wouldn't look any better. Its still kind of weird to see Claudius' sprite head in an icon though, especially in the party icon where there are three of his heads clumped together
- I tried my best with that skull but I'm still not 100% satisfied. Particularly I was having trouble with getting the nasal cavity to look right and played around with that trying to improve it several times before I gave up and stuck with what I had. There might also be some improvements that could be made to the shading, especially on the edges
- The bad thing about the targeting reticle is that for the enemy target, which has a red border, the red portions of the target kind of conflict with that border since they're the same color. I tried changing the outer red parts of it to an orange color instead, but it didn't look any better (in fact looked a little worse).


Overall though, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. I think its good enough to be put in the game as it is. Suggestions/comments welcome.
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Tue May 31, 2011 1:22 pm

Alright, this is my first real attempt at making repeatable tiles. I put together some tiles to represent the castle walls this morning. Here we go.

Image

Jetryl's stone wall is more natural looking than mine, but there's a reason for that. I imagined that the castle of Harrvah would have a more organized construction to it, and the bricks and mortar would be consistent. I thought that perhaps the lower part of the castle wall could be made up of larger stones to serve as the foundation, with the more organized bricks resting on top of it.


I don't think I did too terrible of a job on color selection and shading. Although honestly I'm wondering if these bricks should be white instead of tan. The tan color blends with the desert sand a bit too much and it reminds me more of the type of materials that would be used to construct an ancient pyramid rather than the seat of royalty. Yeah, I think I'd much prefer shades of white for these bricks. I may go ahead and do a color swap and post another shot here to see the comparison.
Image
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8644
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Tue May 31, 2011 2:36 pm

Alright, updated the image in the last post to include some white bricks. As I thought, I like this style much better. I also cleaned up some rough edges in the tile while I was at it.

One thing I'm not satisfied with in the white bricks is the shading/texturing I did in the large mid-section of each brick. The tan bricks used only two shades for this section, so I decided to bump up to three shades and see what I could do. I feel its just sort of a mess. I'll be honest; I didn't know what I was doing when I was shading these portions. I painted each brick with the mid-shade, then drew "tetris blocks" of the lighter and darker shades all around. I feel like there's something that I'm not understanding about how to do this, but I don't know what that is. :huh:
Image
rujasu
Developer
Posts: 757
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:40 am
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby rujasu » Tue May 31, 2011 5:22 pm

Roots wrote:I'm not sure if the top I created is "legal" in the sense that I made no modifications to the lighting/shading of the base when I flipped it and stuck it on top. It looks fine to me though? :shrug:


Forgot to respond to this. The problem here is that the perspective is wrong when you stick it at the top like that. The curve is upside-down, so it looks like the column is shaped funny, like the front is bigger than the back. I don't know how to explain that, you just kind of have to see it. Also, where would that top part go? It's not like we have a ceiling. If we're going to do a column like that, shouldn't we just cut the top off so it's even with the walls?

Roots wrote:Jetryl's stone wall is more natural looking than mine, but there's a reason for that. I imagined that the castle of Harrvah would have a more organized construction to it, and the bricks and mortar would be consistent. I thought that perhaps the lower part of the castle wall could be made up of larger stones to serve as the foundation, with the more organized bricks resting on top of it.


Hmm, that doesn't sound right to me. Jetrel's wall is organized and consistent, but the wall looks older, more worn and less cartoon-perfect. Sure, Harrvah would have organized construction, but it's still somewhere roughly in the Middle Age period, and the walls would be eroded somewhat by sandstorms and other elemental damage. For similar reasons, I prefer the color scheme he's going for, since it looks like natural stone color. Those light gray bricks look somehow like they were just given a fresh coat of paint, I think.

This sounds a bit nitpicky, I admit. I do think you did a good job with making the bricks look like bricks and not like Legos -- it's just that the tile looks a bit too uniform and too "new" to my eye. :shrug:

Return to “Artwork”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests