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Member Since 30 Jun 2004
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:10 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: What tools do professional pixel artists use?

12 July 2016 - 03:59 PM

Some people like Vector Art over Pixel art.  In general, it can be easier to make, and at the least it is probably easier to modify as you can simply adjust curves.  But, it takes a lot of work to get vector art to be nicely shaded, as curves/paths are generally outlined, filled, or both, but you then have to make some small shapes to get shadow and highlight.


Also, about skeletal animations, that isn't dependent on Vector art.  You could use pixel art as well.

In Topic: What tools do professional pixel artists use?

10 July 2016 - 08:47 PM

There isn't anything wrong with Vector Art, though for animation it needs the same attention I was talking about or depending on what you are doing it won't look right when you rotate parts.  On the other hand, some of those same benefits are why I like doing things in 3d, as I can easily move things around too, colors, polys, curves, lattices, other stuff for modifiers, animating everything, including colors, materials, geometry, modifiers, well, you get the idea.  It is the only way I personally have found to get what I call "acceptable" art.

In Topic: What tools do professional pixel artists use?

10 July 2016 - 08:17 PM

As far as my opinion of the best tool to learn for pixel art, it would be Pro Motion.  Unless there is something I've missed, it has features far beyond any other software, at least for pixel art.  You probably already know some of what it does.  It helps with animation, has layers, and the new(NG) version has the "pixel perfect" feature that stops your pixel lines from smudging, keeping your curves as smooth as you can move the mouse.  Then it has tools that help with making tiles and tilemaps, including something to help with making them seamless.


About not making things from scratch, good luck.  Many times you can copy/paste between frames and do some simple adjustments, but depending on what it is that isn't always the case.  If you want something that does skeletal animation for 2d, you can look up both Spine and Spriter.  They both take separate sprite parts, and animate them with a skeleton.  But, you still have to draw the pieces.  And, unless you draw several different variants for pieces, any lighting won't work perfect because that also gets rotated.  It's like how many games simply flip the sprite for the character and enemies to get it facing left instead of right.  But if the lighting is drawn from the upper right, it would then appear to be in the upper left.  This isn't really important in many games, and in fact at times isn't noticed.  But if you are using animation based off of pieces like that, it will likely be obvious if you don't draw it right.  If that is the style you want, great, but if not, you may end up needing to modify shading afterwards anyway.


And @sunandshadow............pixel art is never going to be extinct.  It's as bad as C++!  I love pixel art, but I can't get good at it.  Instead I do the whole 3d pre-rendered sprites thing to get "acceptable" graphics.  It has advantages of that I get to use all the tricks Blender has, including shading, marking edges, all the neat 3d modifiers like displacement textures(great for asteroids), and many other tricks.  And I can easily re-render after making changes too, or if I need a different size for whatever reason.

In Topic: Yet another 'Best engine' topic

07 July 2016 - 06:47 PM

I still recommend GameMaker: Studio.  Besides all of the above mentioned good things about it, there are others.  The newer versions introduced "shaders" into the pipeline.  Technically, you could use them for 3d, but the best use is for 2d stuff.  I'm a fan of "normal-mapped sprites" which can set up really nice lighting effects with sprites.  You can use normals you render yourself(if you are using pre-rendered 3d sprites for art pipeline), and there are programs like SpriteLamp(and another one I can't remember) that also help create normal maps for this.  Of course there are plenty of other uses of shaders for 2d, but this is a big one.


The feature that isn't discussed that much is the basic simplicity of the software and the programming.  It may be considered bad practice by many traditionalists, but there is great speed in the way things work with GMStudio.  The resources can be accessed from anywhere.  You don't have to worry about drag-and-dropping resources as is normally recommended with Unity(though with some code you can make that go away too).  You still have the nice event system, which Unity also has.  The GML language is somewhat C-based, and somewhat original.  There are advantages to only having 2 variable types(doubles and strings).  And yet, you can still have things like data structures, arrays, and working in binary.  You don't have to remember where to type in a "new" statement like with C#, but you can still do the basics like function calls, code re-use, data manipulation, etc... that C# can do.  And, you can get all that GML code compiled like C++ if you so choose(and buy, as the main disadvantage of GMStudio is that you have to pay to get the best goodies).


Basically, my point is that despite the history of GameMaker's previous versions being more hobbyist, being "toys" and what not, the newest incarnation is actually quite powerful and capable.

In Topic: Code vs. drag and drop in Game Maker

03 July 2016 - 04:17 PM

There isn't always d&d to convert from even what seems like the simplest code with GML.  Honestly, gml is relatively easy to learn and use compared to other languages.  The best reference to d&d is probably the above mentioned book, The GameMaker's Apprentice.  The second one, the "Companion" is more focused on platformers, but also ends up more focused on code, which appears to be what you don't want.


If you really want to avoid code totally, you need to either learn the d&d through a different tutorial altogether, or maybe use something else, like Construct.  GMStudio is better than Construct in my opinion, but Construct doesn't have code at all, rather a more complex d&d than GMStudio.


On the other hand, much of game development involves code of some sort, even the most "Beginner" of courses.  I understand the difficulty having an art background trying to do this, but it may "hobble" the students the whole avoiding of the code problem.