How long would this take for a professional?
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Posted 23 April 2013 - 11:47 AM
Good morning, I am trying to research how long it might take a full time professional pixel artist to produce a sprite sheet similar (almost identical) to those displayed on the C-Wars Kickstarter page.
This is assuming the concept and moves are already pinned down and agreed upon.
Would it normally be the responsibility of the artist to animate the sprites, or does that fall into the programmers territory?
Thank you for your time!
Crossbones+ - Reputation: 3736
Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:03 PM
A very long time... I don't do people, but I would have to guess around 20+ hours, depending on how well they set up a template for that one.
Pretty clever way they broke it down, actually, usually the frames are the full character sprite rather than body sections. Normally, the artist animates the sprites by providing all the frames necessary for whatever animation is needed, they don't just hand off a single image of the dude an expect the client to draw the rest of the frames. Where things can get tricky is when there are modular parts or special collision detection issues and sprites need to be precisely aligned on a sheet. Ideally, you would provide the artist with some solid templates.
I should say that's normally how it works for pixel art, actually. The other way is the artist provides sections (called paperdoll, I think) like upper and lower arms, that are then combined within the game software, but that's not very good for pixel art because software rotation disrupts the pixelated effect.
Does that help?
-Mark the Artist
Digital Art and Technical Design
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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:03 PM
I don't know where you would even find a full-time pixel artist, but yeah that looks like it would take most of a week. As for the odd sprite system, the Creatures series had one kind of like that, though it was stored as 64 images (IIRC) rather than a single sprite sheet. For Creatures 3 they invited the community to make their own creatures' sprites, so they released the official sprite sets and some info about how they were made. But I'm not offhand familiar with any other examples.
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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:09 PM
That making-of video has a timelapsed 10 hour count for making a single animation sequence for a single character. From that you should be able to extrapolate the rest: a complete character taking the equivalent for as many sequences as needed.
The proprietary tools they're using seem to be necessary for generating sprite sheets like that: they're breaking frames apart so the packing in the sheet is more optimized (I think it's the sole reason for them doing that). So an artist without these tools will take much longer to pack in the same manner.
Building the animation back should require an artist as well (preferably the one that drew the animation himself); I don't think it could be done by a programmer.
If that tool does what I think it does, which is you tag pixels of a limb and the tool grabs the limb and packs it in the sheet, building the entire body back is entirely procedural - the moment each part is separated from the original full-frame the coordinates are saved in an XML or similar.
When the assets are being loaded the engine rebuilds the frames based on the coordinates of each limb in the sheet.
Edited by Kryzon, 23 April 2013 - 06:11 PM.