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new to graphics surely this isnt pixel art?


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#1 crohnsandme   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:30 PM

hi all , so i am trying to create a simple 2d game in XNA , althought the ease of finding a spritesheet is tempting i was planning to keep progressing these games i make to be part of my portfolio once i start university at the end of the year...what my question is...

 

when you look at games on miniclips, (plants vs zombies) (maplestory) etc these graphics look alot more professional than some simple pixel art like early versions of final fantasy etc.... do these types of graphics have a certain name/category? are they actually pixel art but in higher resolutions ? with a pen in my hand i am awful at drawing but on a computer with a mouse i seem to be alot better and more creative :) so i want to work on making these types of graphics for the games i am making instead of the basic retro looking pixel spritesheets i seem to find 

 

thanks



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#2 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3551

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:38 PM

Old games ran at extremely low resolutions, and a character on a screen was usually 16x16, or 16x24, or something similar. Bigger characters were made up of blocks of smaller sprites as well.

We have bigger resolutions now, so sprites can be as high resolution and smooth as we want.

A lot of art like the stuff in Plants vs Zombies is created as vector art, so it can look good at any resolution.

#3 crohnsandme   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:45 PM

ahh ok and i notice the style of say maplestory is manga right? so its basically that style but made as vector art? is it easy to draw without a graphics tablet or would i save hours of time if i got a cheap graphics tablet?



#4 HardlineDigital   Members   -  Reputation: 251

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:48 PM

If you are serious about art, I would strongly recommend a Wacom tablet. From my personal experience as a gamer and an artist who learned the hard way, I started doing art with the mouse because I am very efficient with the keyboard and mouse. As an audio editor, you're always keyboard shortcutting your way to victory. Plus, getting all those headshots growing up actually seemed to be paying off. I had heard that tablets were the key but I thought all the art nerds with their tablets were just being snobby as usual.

 

However, my progress became logarithmic after a while. The problem with getting used to the mouse for art is that eventually you will want to learn the tablet because it offers pressure and stroke angle. Eventually you will cave in and find that it is a much more expressive input. When you finally do that, its like having to learn all over again. I would compare it to learning to play an instrument again. Sure you may be familiar with music already (the software), but the instrument (the tablet) will be foreign.



#5 HardlineDigital   Members   -  Reputation: 251

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:53 PM

On the filp side, that is not saying it cannot be done with a keyboard and mouse.



#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4799

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:25 AM

Plants vs. Zombies is vector art.  MapleStory I thought was actually raster art but it sure looks like vector art and would be easy to emulate with vector art.  I personally draw vector art with a mouse because I had a lot of difficulty learning how to use a tablet, but it would be a bit faster if I used a tablet.  Manga/anime isn't a single unified style, the same way not all western comics look the same, but it's handy term to go to Deviant Art and search for tutorials and references, or go to google image search and find specific animes that you like the style of and want to emulate.


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#7 crohnsandme   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:04 AM

thank you all :) i think as i only just brought my laptop i will start with the mouse and when i have some money saved ill invest in a tablet, i love programming but i dont want to sound rude or anything but i hate relying on others , for example if i want to make this game i wont be 100% happy unless i create the artwork so i know i did everything even though i know its teamwork .... maybe once i get to university i will find game designers who will be happy to create art for me to use in games but for now its either rely on spriters resources etc or try do it myself :)

 

now i need to first learn what actually is vector art and typical settings etc , i see all tutorials using programs like illustrator or gimp is photoshop not good for vector art?



#8 crohnsandme   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:10 AM

just also for future reference is the wacom bamboo tablet anygood its roughly £50?



#9 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3551

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:49 AM

My bamboo is great, but mine was the 300$ one. The cheaper ones have more of a plastic on plastic feel, and less pressure sensitivity. Wacom is the only tablet company that matters, and their products are good.

Vector art or raster doesn't matter when it comes to how a sprite looks, they are just different methods of storing art. Raster art is stored as a series of color values and doesn't scale as nicely, especially at low resolutions. Vector art is stored as a series of shapes and instructions. Because of this, a vector image can be drawn at any size and still look smooth. Vector art must be rasterized to be displayed, and will look the exact same as a raster image when not resized.

Plants vs Zombies uses vector art because it allows them to use the same data set across all the devices they ported the game to, and have them look nice at every resolution.

Beyond that, it doesn't matter much which style you use. The program you use is just a tool. You need to build up skill by practicing. Art is not easy, and there are no shortcuts.

#10 Hamsta   Members   -  Reputation: 868

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

I have a Wacom Intuos 3, and I love it when I do my digital paintings. I rarely touch it when I'm doing vector artwork.

I find the mouse to be much better for adjusting Bezier curves and the pencil tool, in which you can draw free form lines, to be rather clunky.

Having a sketch to work with is good, but that can just as easily be made by scanning an image as creating one from scratch digitally.


Itamar Reiner: Self Financed Concept Artist http://www.hamsta180.com

#11 BagelHero   Members   -  Reputation: 1429

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:12 PM

If you're broke, I've heard good things about a Monoprice Tablet (They're... ridiculously cheap). I'll be investing in one myself soon, so maybe I can get back to you with a personal opinion sometime in the future; rumor is, though, the digitizer they use trumps the Wacom's. 

Some instruction for proper driver installation, though crass.

 

Some of them are a good half the price of the Wacom equivalents, so there's always that.



#12 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 18462

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

If you're broke, I've heard good things about a Monoprice Tablet (They're... ridiculously cheap).

Anyone else have experience with these?
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#13 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4799

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:51 PM

now i need to first learn what actually is vector art and typical settings etc , i see all tutorials using programs like illustrator or gimp is photoshop not good for vector art?

Haha, gimp and photoshop are not vector programs, they are raster/pixel programs.  Illustrator and Inkscape are vector programs.  Inkscape is free, go download it.  Once you try to use it you will see how different it is from something like photoshop (assuming you've used photoshop).  Vector art has a different mindset than raster/pixel art because in vector art you are placing points and dragging anchors to define automated curves and fills.  There are no pixels.


Edited by sunandshadow, 19 February 2013 - 04:52 PM.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#14 crohnsandme   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:22 AM

yes i sumbled across a copy of illustrator :D i like this and think i like using the mouse for the dragging the lines etc so going to stick with the mouse and practice :) one last thing and i guess this shouldnt matter because you can scale vector art but whats an usual size canvas to work on say a character sprite?



#15 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4799

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:20 AM

It depends how big the character is supposed to appear on the screen.  Personally I make a square 210px by 210px; only a border, no fill. Then I can use that as one frame of animation, exporting it box and all as a transparent png.  I can open a whole animation's worth of those in gimp (each is a layer), crop the image to 200 by 200 to get rid of the frame, and test what the animation looks like.  But if you want to make something like an intro movie where the character is as big as the screen, it would make more sense to start with an area 1000px tall or so.


Edited by sunandshadow, 21 February 2013 - 08:22 AM.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#16 crohnsandme   Members   -  Reputation: 123

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:13 AM

oh no i am making a game with the resolution 1600x900 (for now it will eventually have an fullscreen mode) so the character i am using at the moment is 125x125px so maybe use the same? for now i am tinkering with drawing trying to make what i want but using sprites from heli attack 3 for now :) if worst comes i can still use these sprites as its only for educational and a showpiece to show my uni what i know already but i would like to say "ye this is all my own artwork also" :)



#17 riuthamus   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4803

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:53 AM

If you are serious about art, I would strongly recommend a Wacom tablet. From my personal experience as a gamer and an artist who learned the hard way, I started doing art with the mouse because I am very efficient with the keyboard and mouse. As an audio editor, you're always keyboard shortcutting your way to victory. Plus, getting all those headshots growing up actually seemed to be paying off. I had heard that tablets were the key but I thought all the art nerds with their tablets were just being snobby as usual.

 

However, my progress became logarithmic after a while. The problem with getting used to the mouse for art is that eventually you will want to learn the tablet because it offers pressure and stroke angle. Eventually you will cave in and find that it is a much more expressive input. When you finally do that, its like having to learn all over again. I would compare it to learning to play an instrument again. Sure you may be familiar with music already (the software), but the instrument (the tablet) will be foreign.

 

God is this so true. I obtained one recently and it felt so nasty....I honestly felt like I was a cripple doing art and I could not fathom how anybody would do it. I have siince pushed it off till I can obtain the 4k one that I desire. I feel that when I get the new 24HD Touch it will be more like actual drawing as the screen will act as my paper. I have become very skilled with a mouse... but I do realize that the strokes I have to take with a mouse could be done in 1/3 of the time by a simple stroke with a tablet pen. So, good advice here.



#18 Hamsta   Members   -  Reputation: 868

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:00 PM

If you are serious about art, I would strongly recommend a Wacom tablet. From my personal experience as a gamer and an artist who learned the hard way, I started doing art with the mouse because I am very efficient with the keyboard and mouse. As an audio editor, you're always keyboard shortcutting your way to victory. Plus, getting all those headshots growing up actually seemed to be paying off. I had heard that tablets were the key but I thought all the art nerds with their tablets were just being snobby as usual.

 

However, my progress became logarithmic after a while. The problem with getting used to the mouse for art is that eventually you will want to learn the tablet because it offers pressure and stroke angle. Eventually you will cave in and find that it is a much more expressive input. When you finally do that, its like having to learn all over again. I would compare it to learning to play an instrument again. Sure you may be familiar with music already (the software), but the instrument (the tablet) will be foreign.

 

God is this so true. I obtained one recently and it felt so nasty....I honestly felt like I was a cripple doing art and I could not fathom how anybody would do it. I have siince pushed it off till I can obtain the 4k one that I desire. I feel that when I get the new 24HD Touch it will be more like actual drawing as the screen will act as my paper. I have become very skilled with a mouse... but I do realize that the strokes I have to take with a mouse could be done in 1/3 of the time by a simple stroke with a tablet pen. So, good advice here.

A Cintiq may be closer to drawing on paper, but still takes some getting used to.

There's the thickness between your screen and pen tip that gives a feeling of disconnect, a certain lag between drawing and having it appear on screen.

Changing brush sizes but drawing with the same tool never felt quite right either, and the peripheral itself is bulky and you'll have to adjust yourself to it.

Getting the hand-eye coordination of painting down on the tablet in my lap while watching the screen took some practice, but I think I might prefer it to the Cintiq's I had access to in school.


Itamar Reiner: Self Financed Concept Artist http://www.hamsta180.com

#19 riuthamus   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4803

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:48 PM

 

If you are serious about art, I would strongly recommend a Wacom tablet. From my personal experience as a gamer and an artist who learned the hard way, I started doing art with the mouse because I am very efficient with the keyboard and mouse. As an audio editor, you're always keyboard shortcutting your way to victory. Plus, getting all those headshots growing up actually seemed to be paying off. I had heard that tablets were the key but I thought all the art nerds with their tablets were just being snobby as usual.

 

However, my progress became logarithmic after a while. The problem with getting used to the mouse for art is that eventually you will want to learn the tablet because it offers pressure and stroke angle. Eventually you will cave in and find that it is a much more expressive input. When you finally do that, its like having to learn all over again. I would compare it to learning to play an instrument again. Sure you may be familiar with music already (the software), but the instrument (the tablet) will be foreign.

 

God is this so true. I obtained one recently and it felt so nasty....I honestly felt like I was a cripple doing art and I could not fathom how anybody would do it. I have siince pushed it off till I can obtain the 4k one that I desire. I feel that when I get the new 24HD Touch it will be more like actual drawing as the screen will act as my paper. I have become very skilled with a mouse... but I do realize that the strokes I have to take with a mouse could be done in 1/3 of the time by a simple stroke with a tablet pen. So, good advice here.

A Cintiq may be closer to drawing on paper, but still takes some getting used to.

There's the thickness between your screen and pen tip that gives a feeling of disconnect, a certain lag between drawing and having it appear on screen.

Changing brush sizes but drawing with the same tool never felt quite right either, and the peripheral itself is bulky and you'll have to adjust yourself to it.

Getting the hand-eye coordination of painting down on the tablet in my lap while watching the screen took some practice, but I think I might prefer it to the Cintiq's I had access to in school.

 

Very interesting to hear. I have the bamboo and I honestly hated having to scale it. I saw it to be the most annoying process in the world. Looking up at the screen while I try to draw on paper seemed like alien crap ( although i did it with a mouse so i dont know why it felt so different to me ). I dont know... i guess I will see when I finally get my 24HD touch :P






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