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Meta, Art of many kind

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I realized that my journal doesn't have much focus, it kinda jumps around all over the place. What's it this week? Childhood memories? Digital painting? Game design commentary? Or, most shocking, actual coding? I'm afraid, dear reader, that you'll simply have to suffer my inconstant attentions: Truly, I'm writing in this for the sake of itself, or perhaps the sake of the content which produces the text, not for the textual product itself.

Pixel Art

Well, I can't really in good conscience post pictures of most of what I've been doing because I haven't run it by the client, but I've been doing a ton of pixel-art work lately. It started off kinda slow, and it came out decently, but then it really clicked and I got into it. If I may say so, some of the stuff I'm doing is going to look very good and I'm having fun while I'm at it. ... except the tedious bits, but it's cool once I get into it and have something ambient like Mogwai playing.

Here's some stuff I did for the free tile SF set:

Note: No flat greys or primary colors! (That's not yellow, it's amber. [But no, I take back what I said about primary colors; The walls are obviously built on a dark low-saturation red; I think what I object to is bright primary colors used uncritically, but then again I tend toward particular color palettes myself as an artist, and these tend to be 'darker' and not 'cheery'. Personal preference, I suppose; Not that I can't do bright and cheery, see Linx0r.] ) This is my thing with color again; It just seems kinda cheap when you can tell that someone used a color straight from the photoshop palette or, god forbid, the MS paint palette. And I think it can act as a bit of a strike against creativity to use default parameters without question. (Not that I have not and do not do that a ton myself, of course.)

And the character animation:

Looks a bit funny. Have to tweak it more, four frames though it may be. Human characters are the most difficult because we humans know how humans are supposed to move. Aliens and robots and monsters are -easy- because they can move in ways that are just that, alien and robotic and monstrous.

The thing with pixel art is that your resolution is limited to the grid of pixels. Obviously. When I'd draw with ballpoint pen, say, I always liked to draw tiny details to the limit of the pen -- there's a certain point at which line thickness smudges the lines together, and I always drew up to that point. Same with pencil. (It was really bad when I tried to draw with mechanical pencil, it being so much thinner. I got a little bit of the picture done, but it was way too intricate to deal with).
Going through art school fixed this impulse of mine a bit, but I've still got it. I run into it often in digital painting -- I keep drawing details down to the smallest brush, then start getting frustrated as the linework gets blurry at the smallest brushes, when manipulating raw pixels becomes more important. (I suppose I should digitally paint at the high level then pixel-push at the low level to make myself happy, but then digital paintings are a hell of a lot larger in size than pixel-art, so it'd take forever.)

What I've got to do is stop pushing digital painting to the pixel level by painting on larger resolution and consider the image from the size it is meant to be viewed at, not 800x.

I've pretty much started talking about digital painting, but here's the header anyway:

Digital Painting

After what I said about using thick black lines yesterday I decided to try embracing it and doing a woodcut/comic art sort of look.

Makes me want to do a regular comic again, but I don't think I could always find the time. Maybe if I set the update period to like one month per strip, like with Artscum, so I could always figure out when to do it way ahead of time (or, you know, right up at the deadline).
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Gotta love that art! Respect dude :)

OTOH maybe I can give ya some useful comments. Although you could argue that the space suit is too heavy, maybe it would look better with the torso moving a bit up and down. It's a common thing in other pixel art animations. Also it seems that at a certain point one fist is higher than it should, it doesn't rise that high when you walk (but then again, you can argue it's the space suit).

About the comic strip, you could always just do a couple of strips and say that you don't plan to update, but of course you'll have to endure the occasional e-mail asking you to update it :)

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Hey, thanks!

Yeah, I had the spacesuit torso moving up and down one pixel, but I wasn't entirely happy with it because it seemed a bit .. boisterous? Still, I'm not viewing the animation moving across the screen as it would in-game, just in-place, because I don't have a game coded to run it so I'm not really getting the final effect. I could code a simple animation viewer, no problem. Hmm.

And yeah, the arms are kinda swinging all over the place so I restrained them a bit. I may make them move even less 'cause it's a bit of a loose walk for a clunky spacesuit.

Good advice on the comic; Commit to nothing! Like I did with my Frank comic a few years ago. (I'll be honest: The picture of the four people drinking at the table is actually an illustration that would be for the comic I have in mind. I'll do more like that, I think.)

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