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I'm proud of this (2D anthro avatar system)

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This is a partial screenshot of the document where I'm making all the art assets for the anthro breeder game I'm working on. Usually I'm working way zoomed-in, like one pair of horns filling the whole screen, but I accidentally zoomed all the way out and was sort of blown away by how it all looked in color-coded ranks like this. It made me feel very proud of having made it all myself, so I just had to show it to someone (that being you all [wink]). If you're curious this is about 3/5 of all the art for the game.

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It's nice and colorful. You have a lot of variety. It just seems like that being 3/5 of a whole game's art isn't very much in my mind. It really depends on the kind of game though. Either way, it's nice. There's still 2/5 we have to see.

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Original post by Fuji
It's nice and colorful. You have a lot of variety. It just seems like that being 3/5 of a whole game's art isn't very much in my mind. It really depends on the kind of game though. Either way, it's nice. There's still 2/5 we have to see.

Well, let me see if I can list off what's left to do:
- I have 5 other bases done as far as lineart, highlights, and shadows, but they need a little tweaking before I finalize them in the full color palette. I also have a pair of horse ears that need tweaked and finalized.
- I only have one more type of horns and one more type of feet planned; done with facial hair I guess. Might add another type of feet.
- The major part of the remaining to-do list is wings and hairstyles, still need lots of those.
- I made some attempts at zebra stripes, and I also wanted to do leopard spots and a buckskin/tuxedo coloration, but those were a surprisingly huge amount of work so I may cut it.
- Haven't done anything for the gui or a little animated intro yet. One generic robe or something the characters could wear might also be handy.

I think I'll that adds up to a bit less than I've already done. For everthing it should be about 3 months of work, and I'm at the halfway point of that time frame currently. To me it seems like plenty of assets for a shareware creature breeding game. Once there's a playable version it will be easy to see if I feel like adding more parts - facial features for example. But if you have suggestions for any specific parts that seem to be missing, please suggest them. [smile]

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You would benefit quite alot from trying to find a more effective workprocess, I don't know how much time you spent on this particular piece of the art, but it looks like it could be done in a workday.
It is quite monochromatic, the shading is flat, the linewidth is constant and without variation, and it generally lacks and perspective, amongst other things.


I'm not trying to be an asshole about this, but sometimes people will get blind in their own art, and especially on this forum you wont be getting any kind of real critique on it, and it will be hindering your true progress.
You seem like a very creative person, and you really shouldn't be stopping your progress now.

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o.O These pieces are designed to be displayed much larger than shown here, so you may be underestimating the amount of detail in them. Although, maybe you did zoom in on it because otherwise I don't think you could see the line width enough to tell that it is constant? At any rate... I'm having great difficulty imagining anyone accomplishing in a day what took me a month, but I guess a master artist might be able to do it. I do spend a lot of time peering at something that looks wrong trying to decide how to change it, or I discover I've set something up incorrectly and need to rearrange it - that's kind of a natural and inevitable consequence of inexperience I think. At least I'm familiar with the program I'm using (though I can imagine some features it could have that would make recoloring much faster x_X ), and some of the animal parts I'm familiar enough with to draw without spending time hunting up reference images, but many of the pieces here went through at least 3 drafts because I simply don't have the skill to get this kind of thing right on the first try. I'm not very decisive either, and I know wembling slows anything down. I'm not using a tablet, that would likely make it faster except I hate the things.

The monochromatic part is by design because every single color has to look good combined with every single other color, and the genetic nature of the game these calls for a standard color palette. Maybe I could have made better choices, but I wanted to take a simple approach because the project is complex enough to be confusing even before shading and color enter the picture. If I get too confused it's not fun, and I'm not getting paid for this so I wouldn't do it at all if it wasn't fun. I'm aware I'm not very good at shading (although I do like flat shading as a style. I posted the shaded base figure for critique 3 different places (including conceptart where I expected real critique) and got basically no critique. I got a few comments on anatomy/pose but none on shading, even though I specifically asked for it.

I'm proud of this because I came up with a design, I followed through for an amount of time that's almost a personal record for me, the mixing-and-matching of parts and colors actually works in the tests I've done, and I find the results pleasant to look at. I'm not looking for real critique on it right now because it's too far into the project to change styles now, and the area I'm trying to make progress in at the moment is completing a large project and getting a playable result. I did ask for critique at the beginning, and I will be interested in it again when the project is complete, but until the it would be more of a hindrance than a help, unless it was something really specific like "there's not enough contrast between the blue mid-tone and the blue shadow". Even something as simple as that would cost hours to change.

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Original post by Robert-Glen
A breeding game with no females?... I'm worried


Lol! [grin] There are 6 bases: this one here is the muscular male, there are also skinny and chubby males, and then there are muscular, skinny, and chubby females. There are even hermaphrodites as a bonus option the player can unlock.

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sunandshadow, it's okay, you don't have to go back and change it all, it's often best do to what you do and then leave it at that, and when that's done, create something new.
Any kind of progress is something to be equally proud of and at the same time see what you can do better.
Have you tried doing rough rough sketches to get the design up before going into the finalizing?

going back and doing changes in the final work can be quite a timewaster, getting too picky is one too, You can take the first ten minutes and just go crazy sketching different black sillhuettes for ideas and then pick out the best ones, then go on and do a rough sketch of each one of the parts for an hour or two, and after that you finalize it without being too picky, and with the design being done already.
a simple way of adding more colours is either programmaticly by just changing the palette for each set, or in photoshop do a hue change, or even better, a gradient map.

Hitting that wall of progress is no fun, and it can be frustrating, that is something I would just avoid before too, and just go for the goodies, but once you get over that brick wall you'll feel so great about it, you'll learn new quick tricks that'll make things so much easier, and make you go facepalm at yourself why you didn't do it before.

ps, do get a wacom, it is so much easier to work with in the end, and it will save you from breaking your wrist :)

so no more excuses, in your next project or piece of art you should try some new workprogress practices, I'll be happy to guide you whenever you would want some guiding.

[Edited by - eld on December 7, 2009 5:05:32 AM]

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Normally I do use color rotation in photoshop/gimp, it is indeed fast, although other slownesses of that program tend to balance it out. But, this breeding game project is pure vector, the final art for the game needs to be in svg format, thus I can only use a vector program to work on it. Specifically I'm using Inkscape.

I did own a tablet for a while, but like I said I hated it. It makes my brain melt to not be able to look at the pencil/stylus point when I'm drawing. I was hoping touch-sensitive monitors would get cheaper because with those the monitor is the tablet, and you can actually draw the same place you are looking. They are still more than $1000 each though. :/

I do make rough sketches first, but maybe I also sketch slowly - 10 mins would not result in multiple sketches unless I was doing something much simpler than a humanoid. It's part of my personality that I really detest feeling like I'm in a hurry, I like to do everything in a calm, careful way (unless it's boring). I try to sketch within whatever program I'm using because I dislike switching to pencil and paper, then scanning them in, then maybe needing to import the scan to a different program... I probably get better results sketching with pencil and paper than within a program, but it's a pain in the butt, so I only do it for particularly hard things such as humanoids.

My next project is going to be an acrylic painting of the interior of a greenhouse with lots of plants and some sort of water: fountain, pond, or indoor stream under footbridge. It's a request from my sister for her office, and she wants the colors/light to be like a Kinkade. I'd be happy to hear any tips on painting workflow you happen to have. [smile]

I'm not sure when I'm going to be doing another digital project, probably not until February at the earliest. I guess you could use something I haven't made yet for this game as an example - wings would be good, I need to make multiple kinds and haven't started them yet. Fortunately I've made wings so many times I have the structure memorized, so no reference needed. Typically I'd sketch the vague shape of the wings, then make one feather complete with light and shadow (it has to match the ones used in the bird tail shown above). Then I'd copy the feather, paste one, adjust the size/rotation to fit it into the wing, paste another, adjust, repeat until I have a wing, trying to work from whichever feather should be on the bottom to whichever should be on the top so the layering is correct by default. Sometimes I might need to make a different shape of feather to make part of the wing work. If the wings were going to be in the same pose I'd then copy the wing, flip horizontally, then flip all the light and shadow colors unless the angle needed changed. But, for this project because the arms are in different positions the wings probably should be too.

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The same guys that sell those tablets also sell touch screen tablet pads, IE turns any monitor into a touch screen surface your pen can use. I haven't tested this yet, but I think in the next year or so I'm going to take my second monitor, put a scratch resistant pad on it, and test it out - much cheaper than getting a touch screen monitor, and if the results work, the monitor I'd be testing it on is kinda old so its no big deal if it does get scratched to shit.

Seems like a plausable solution to the high cost right now. This is one I've looked up (I'm sure I've seen some better ones :P)

Click me!!!

With this kinda setup, old monitor, or cheapie (you can purchase some pretty decent 19 inch screens now for under 100 bucks) you could then run a screen duplication setup, set one up on your lap (or angle idealy?) then view what your doing as your doing it, looking down, or looking up.

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Ooh cool, I never saw those before. Their art use would be somewhat limited by the fact that they don't have pressure sensitivity, but that wouldn't bother me personally. I would think if something was going to get scratched it would be this screen pad, not the monitor you put it on, but that's just a guess at how it would work.

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cintiq's are really the only alternative to a wacom if you want to look where you draw, but they're still quite expensive, do try to get used to a wacom, that's the first step that'll speed your workprocess up by a tenfold.


It might come as a suprise, but I never draw traditionally, I'm mainly a digital artist, modeller, texturer whatever you want to call it :), but I always pick up knowledge whenever I can, and drawing is a part of texturing too I'd guess.

don't try to think of it as being in a hurry, think of it as a more relaxed way of drawing at first, concentrating on the details might feel like relaxing, but you're concentrating hard, slowing down the progress, afraid of taking bold design choices.

The reason why a bunch of silhuette are a great way to start is because the silhuette usually is the most important thing about something, in this case a character, and they're really quick to make, it's not about detail, its about shapes, you never get locked down, you just make them naturally and then you go back and look at them all and find the ones that seems to work the best.

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I had trouble with the disconnect between tablet and screen at first, but the more you play with it the more comfortable it becomes. I've actually found digital work to relax my process somewhat, with the easy undo feature I got more comfortable with things like silhouette thumbnails and longer single lines...it's worth trying out at any rate.

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cintiq's are really the only alternative to a wacom if you want to look where you draw, but they're still quite expensive, do try to get used to a wacom, that's the first step that'll speed your workprocess up by a tenfold.


Isn't a Cintiq made by Wacom?

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Original post by mineralwasser
Quote:
cintiq's are really the only alternative to a wacom if you want to look where you draw
Isn't a Cintiq made by Wacom?
Yes, they are.

Has anyone tried using one of those DIY (old LCD + infra-red camera) multi-touch boxes in this context?

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Sorry about that, It's quite the common word we'd use, saying wacom for a wacom tablet is quite usual, but saying "wacom cintiq" is not, even though it is a wacom product. :P

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I use an early tabletPC made by Motion Computing so that I can draw directly on the screen. Although the Navisis EZ Canvas Screen sounds nice - and you definitely can't argue with the price (a TabletPC costs as much as a Wacom Cintiq monitor - about $2000) - I am a bit concerned about penpoint-cursor accuracy. Although my tablet is very precise, it does not have the pin-point precision of the classical mediums. I can only assume that since the stylus now has *two* barriers (the glass of the monitor and the protective cover), where you place the tip of the pen and where the strokes actually appear will seem doubly off - especially when drawing/viewing at an angle.

The newest tabletPC model can be found at http://www.motioncomputing.com/products/tablet_pc_J34.asp . If someday you do decide to get one (which I recommend, since I love my old one so much :) ) make *sure* to get the optional View Anywhere Display. It's not exactly perfect outside in the sun (though it may be better in the new models) but it certainly removes any display issues you might run into while indoors and lounging on the couch with the tablet held at weird angles.

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Even the high price cintiqs wont have perfect resolution, nor will they be lag free, there is some input delay in it.

but the upside is, it is the best delay and resolution you can get on a screenbased tablet, and you get pressure sensitivity aswell as pen tilting.

the days my pressure sensitivity broke on the pen were some of the worst, its an important feature of a tablet.

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Still think it looks monochromatic? [grin] This represents a triumph of the programmer's effort as well as mine, because this character was created entirely within the game and exported using the game's export feature.

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Speaking of programming, you could've saved yourself a TON of work by using the gray one and having it colored completely in code (on a previous game I worked on, we used a gray armor suit and the programmer created several items by adjusting the RGB values.

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Original post by Fuji
Speaking of programming, you could've saved yourself a TON of work by using the gray one and having it colored completely in code (on a previous game I worked on, we used a gray armor suit and the programmer created several items by adjusting the RGB values.


How did the programmer do that? Run a search and replace on the svg file?

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Well, there weren't any svg files used and I'm really not sure how he did that (or any of the other crazy stuff). Like I said, he said he was able to use a single file and generate a bunch of parts from it by adjusting RGB and Alpha values. That's as far as I can go about explaining it.

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