Roots' Art Feedback Thread

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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Tue May 31, 2011 8:05 pm

Yeah, Jetryl already explained to me that the perspective is wrong for the pillar top. Its like you're looking at it straight on instead of from an isometric angle. Its no problem though, since I spent zero time making the top. I'll come up with a more fitting top piece.


What I meant when I said Jetryl's wall is inconsistent was two things: one, the stones that make up the wall are of various different sizes. Two, some blocks stick out more than others, and some blocks are pushed in more than others. Making the frontal surface of the wall not entirely flat. It looks nice of course, its just not the type of wall I would expect a castle to be made out of. And yes I thought of the "looks like fresh paint" too when I saw the white and tan tiles together. It probably won't give that feeling so much if the tan tiles were not there at all.


I can always tweak the shading to make the bricks look more weathered and introduce variation tiles to make the wall a little less monotonous. I'm a little cautious about making the changes too drastic though. I was already planning to do the latter once I felt this first base tile was completed. I was also thinking about making some ornamental pieces that could go on the wall (and be used elsewhere) such as torch holders or a crest representing the kingdom.
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:28 am

Image

Third attempt. :angel: I was told that the white tiles looked good, but were too perfect and better fit for something like a palace interior (which we could also use in the prologue, so not a wasted effort). So I took some feedback and created this new set, which includes two tiles now to allow for some variation. Changes made:

- The height of the bricks are increased so that 3 fit in a tile instead of 4, with each brick being slightly different in height
- The variation tile allows for some bricks to be a tad longer or shorter than normal
- I didn't want to re-use the white colors for both interior and exterior, so I chose a new color set that is brown-ish, but not tan like the first set of tiles were. I also chose these colors to match the stone pillars I've been working on recently.


Issues:
- Already noticed a minor bug that would make using the same tile together horizontally look poor because of where I chose the grout outlines on the bottom tile. Should be really easy to fix this though.
- The center shading bugs me. I think the "blobs" might be a bit too large and the lightest shade a bit too light.
- Not sure if there's enough variation or if this wall still looks "too perfect". Its less perfect than the white walls for sure, but still not as imperfect as the grey stone wall that it rests on. I tried to strike a balance between the two, but I think perhaps a little more imperfection is needed.
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:55 am

Image

Addressing the issues in my last post. I added a second variation tile as well. Still not entirely happy with the shading, but meh. I'll come back to it another time if I need to. The wall in this draft was created by randomly placing the three tiles to make sure that everything looked okay. Wasn't expecting that small little brick on the bottom right section of the wall, but it should be fine. More variation, right? We should be able to setup these tiles to be autotilable and easily paint walls that way.


I think I'm done with this for now.
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:59 pm

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I made a new top for the stone column in the proper perspective. I think I did an okay job with it. The shadows along the top of the column (before hitting the actual base top) are a little sketchy, as is some of the shading along the sides of the top piece. Not bad for a first attempt though IMO. I think I'll also made an "indoor" version of the top section where the very top is either a plain dark brown (because its touching a ceiling and no light is hitting it) or dark brown along the top edges with a pure black center.
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby gorzuate » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:07 pm

Not bad, Roots ;)
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:21 pm

Proof that I'm learning. :)


I think I'm going to make some changes to the perspective of the base when I get a chance. The base still has that "head-on" perspective and it looks somewhat awkward when you use it with the new top piece. I think the base needs to have more depth to it, showing the circular parts wrapping around the back. I think if I take the very top ellipsis as the bottom base, and then stack two smaller ellipses on top of it and then place the bottom texture over that outline, I'll be able to come up with something that looks more correct.
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:13 pm

Okay, I've completely re-done the pillar base to provide the proper perspective. Its below, along with all the other previous drafts for comparison.

Image Image Image Image Image

I think I did a good job with the perspective and dimenions of the base, but looking at the previous drafts I realize that the shading leaves much to be desired. Especially on the right side with the lighter shades, I was having difficulty getting the shades to blend together well while still distinguishing the edges so that the form of the stacked platforms was not lost.

I also think that after I get the base fixed up, I'm going to adjust the top piece so that the two smaller platforms are just barely poking out.
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:48 am

Changes made:
- Attempted to fix the lighter shading on column base
- Used a different shading scheme for the lighter sections depending on the orientation of the piece ("upwards" versus "along its side")
- Adjusted top piece to show smaller platforms
- Minor adjustments to the dark shades along the base
- Minor adjustments to the lines that delineate the edges along the base
- Minor shading tweaks to top piece


Here's how it looks in comparison with the two previous drafts.

Image Image Image

I'm getting really close now I feel. I'm still not fully satisfied with how sharply the edges are defined on the right side of the base...but maybe its just going to have to look that way for this perspective. I'm going to go share this on some pixel art forums and see if I can get any tips to put on the finishing touches. I'll be adding this into the castle exterior tileset soon, and I'll leave some space in that tileset for future variations (square base, divets in column, etc).
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:13 am

I got some feedback on my castle wall tiles in a pixel art forum and decided to try out some suggestions they had there. Here's the result.

Image

The major changes I made were:
1) Don't keep all the stones in a perfect brick shape. The stones were drawn so that the mortar lines were kind of squiggly, especially around the stone edges.
2) Shade some bricks different colors than others to introduce more variation and depth


I certainly like how it looks. The only thing that leaves me feeling :/ is that its no longer a brick wall. Now its a stone wall. Which is fine, but there should be some brick walls in the world as well, don't you think? Maybe it makes more sense to make the castle walls from stone instead of brick...but I don't know. At the very least, this new wall would be excellent for the town wall that surrounds Harrvah city in my opinion.
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:31 am

Had a conversation on IRC about the stone/brick wall controversy and got some interesting references. Posting them here so that I can refer to them later.

<Roots> I know right? But they don't look like bricks anymore. They look like stones, which is fine. But I'm like hmm, how do I make a good looking brick wall?
On another note, I've been playing Lufia I today (SNES-era RPG) and the graphics are so simple it amazes me.
<Jetrel> 1] Ancient bricks don't look regular
2] for proper brick walls, make the seams incomplete
That is, the wall is so smooth sometimes the seams _disappear_.
<Roots> i see
* Jetrel wonders if he can come up with any good examples...
<Jetrel> hmm
<Blarumyrran> neorice's comic's bricks were nice
http://neorice.com/aptgg_219
<Jetrel> dracula X probably has some good examples..
<Jetrel> Roots: also, what Blarumyrran just linked
<DDR> Hm, maintenance time. The back just fell off my chair.
<Jetrel> http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/SuperNES/Ca ... Stage6.png
bricks in the third segment of that
<Roots> yeah I checked it out
<Jetrel> some other good examples: http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/SuperNES/Ca ... Stage3.png
Especially the third segment there illustrates how it's often not about a single tile, but about the whole tileset - a few bricks in one place can suggest a whole wall made out of brick without texturing the whole thing.
etc writ large: http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/SuperNES/Ca ... Stage1.png
<Roots> ah I see now
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:49 pm

Got some external feedback on the latest column draft elsewhere today and made some pretty significant changes to the lighting. I also did something completely different with the shading on the very top as well. The latest is below next to the previous two drafts.

Image Image Image

I receded the dark shades on the left by a great degree, as you can see. I'm honestly not sure whether or not I like the changes right now. Maybe its because there are more areas where there's just a flat color with no shading or texture. Hmm :huh:
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Psiweapon » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:26 am

Good, much more three dimensional :)
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Jetryl » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:15 am

Tweaked the elliptical shapes at the bottom of the column to illustrate my earlier statement about how ellipses never have pointy corners on them.

Top is left as an exercise.
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Psiweapon » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:21 am

Yes, you have to squint your eyes to see what the actual changes are, but the whole thing "feels" better :approve:
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:47 am

New draft includes Jetryl's changes plus the results of his "exercise". :angel: I additionally made some changes to the shading on the very top section and some of the shadows of the top part of the column.

Image Image Image


So...can I be done with this now? :heh: I think I've reached my skill limit and I don't know what else I can do with it now honestly, other than make the variations of it that I was talking about (damaged pillar, different textured columns, different shapes for the base/top pieces, etc.). I think it looks good enough. The only thing I'm worried about is making sure that the light source on this pillar matches the light source for everything else we're going to see on maps. We should probably have a discussion about light sources at some point...
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:59 pm

Alrighty, I've been making slow progress on the castle walls I've been putting together. For now, I'm focusing on creating the wall meant to surround the entire town using my more natural stone wall (as opposed to a brick one). I've also started making a town gate for the wall, though its still largely unfinished and I wanted some initial feedback on it before I dove in too deep. Here's the latest, compared to the old draft:

Image Image

I dialed down the contrast on the stone wall at the suggestion of someone else. I also created a top portion to the wall which I would like feedback on. I made many attempts to make it look more natural, for example I wanted the top-most stone on the wall to display both its front-facing and sky-facing sides, but I couldn't get it to look right. I also made an (incorrect I believe) attempt to make this sort of isometric by having a small diagonal from the front part of the wall to the top, but that definitely didn't look right and I don't think it matches our perspective either.


The gate needs a lot of work as well, as it just looks too plain. The darker portions are meant to be pushed in and the lighter portions are meant to be boards that stick out. I had a reference image I was working off of when creating this, but I can't remember what search terms I used and now I can't find it. :ohnoes: I created a basic shadow for the top of the door which probably needs some work. The door is sort of place "deep" into the wall instead of being right there in the middle of it, hence why it is pushed back and has line drawings of an archway that will rest above it.

For the pillars/arches that surround the door, I started by trying to imitated Jetryl's design for the large stones surrounding the archway in the Harrvah house tileset, but the more I thought about it the more it seemed like this gate needs/deserves something different. But I'm still kind of :/ about what would best fit the type of stone structure that surrounds the door.


I'm also wondering whether the door is large enough. Its about 80 pixels high on the sides and 110 pixels high in the middle (an adult sprite is about 64 pixels tall). Seems pretty short to me for being the major entryway into a capital city. And maybe it needs to be wider as well?


Anyway I could use feedback on all of these points. I'm kind of in a stuck state right now where I'm not sure how best to proceed, and I don't want to work on something and then find out that its all wrong and needs to be pretty much scrapped. So... :help:
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:00 pm

Below is not a complete draft but a temporary WIP that I need feedback on. I was working on the door and its surroundings and here's what I got right now.

Image

- I made the door a little taller
- Completed the outline for the three layers of stone arches that are in front of the door


I haven't started the arches so ignore the fact that the bricks in that section are currently in the same orientation. I'll make it look like a real arch with keystone and everything. But I have a few perspective concerns with this:

1) Should the door be say a tile or so wider? I think yes, so it looks more like a town entrance gate and less like just a really big door. Although doing so is going to really make the arches look extremely flat in the middle... :/
2) Does having three arch layers make the wall feel too "deep"? If you look at the top section, there are only four layers of stone so I was a little concerned with it. Do you think it would look better if I made just two arch layers instead?
3) Should I make the side walls of the inner-most column shorter (ie, less horizontal length)? The inner-most arch has much less space than the second layer arch does, but the inner-most and second columns are both of the same horizontal length right now.
4) Pre-emptive question on the shading of the arch interiors: is it just going to be pure shadow for the most part under there? How am I going to be able to distinguish the inner two arches if they are both mostly shadow :huh:
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby gorzuate » Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:03 am

I think the door should be both wider and taller. I'm thinking 6 sprites abreast should be able to walk through that door at once.

Also, I think the wall should be deeper. I think it should be deep enough to have a walkway on top where guards can stand and patrol. That should address the number of arches as well. 3 in that case would be fine.

Also, it would be nice, though not necessary, if perhaps there was some ironwork on the door to make it beefier.

Good job so far :approve:
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Roots » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:51 am

6 sprites wide is 6 tiles wide, that's a freaking huge door. :eyebrow: That's double the width of the door I posted earlier. And if I make the door taller, the town wall is going to have to be taller of well of course. The map is only 16x12 tiles so that would mean the wall would take up over half of the screen! :uhoh:

As for the walkway, I think we should a wall with that at some point, but not here. The reasons why I don't think we should do it for this wall are as follows:

1) The wall is designed for Harrvah city, so being a very long wall surrounding an entire city, its hard to imagine they'd have the materials and need for such a strong fortification in the middle of a desert.

2) Adding a walkway on top means lots of extra work for me to do. Remember I'm not a good artist and I still have an entire freaking castle to make as well, FML.

3) I asked Jetrel for feedback on IRC tonight about my earlier post and he said the perspective and depth both look fine. So there. :angel:

4) I'm lazy and I don't wanna. I'll make a wall like this for Lambdor Kingdom (chapter 2) when we get there. Or maybe someone else will be making map art for us by then.

I do like your suggestion of adding ironwork to the door to make it look beefier (and less stale artistically). I'll add those details after I get the major stuff out of the way.



Image


Here's another temporary WIP snapshot. I widened the door by one tile (so now its 4 tiles wide) and adjusted the arches appropriately. I also made the bolts on the door out of iron instead of wood, as a result of gorzuate's suggestion. Still have to do all the stones for the arches and the shadows and when that is done, I can work on any fine details and touching up the door. You'll notice that the wider door has a "blank" space that is not textured near the sides where the two halves meet. I couldn't fit in another inner plank there (the darker wooden sections) so instead I'm going to use that area for some kind of ornamentation or other function. If you have any good ideas for what should go there, let me know.


Also note that the inner two arches have a darker shade. This is just temporary to highlight the difference between the inner and outer arch layers because I know the shadows shouldn't behave that way (although it does look kind of nice).
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Re: Roots' Art Feedback Thread

Postby Psiweapon » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:02 pm

You should leave the darker shadows in the parts of the arches that touch the wall, and add highlights on the edges ;)

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