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Arannir

8-bit or 16-bit?

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I did this artwork believing it was 16-bit but someone told me it was 8-bit.
Can you identify?

1zmng5y.jpg

A previous artwork to compare to-

2exyi5z.jpg

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These are both jpgs. So... 24bit?

 

If with 8bit vs. 16bit you mean the art style associated with the computer systems of the time (i.e NES vs. SNES) I'd say they are more 8bit.

16 bit to me would mean higher resolution and more colors.

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if you use 256 colors or less at any time then it is 8 bit graphics (many 8 bit systems allow for modifiable palettes so the exact colors you use normally doesn't matter)

16 bit allows for 65536 different colors.

24 bit allows for 16.7 million colors.

32 bit graphics normally still only has 16.7 million colors (and use the last 8 bit for transparancy)

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It can probably be either. The problem is, the resolution difference between 8-bit and 16-bit is small, so it's hard to tell which your 24x24 image is.

8-bit tends to have less detail and 16-bit tends to have more.

Overall, I would say it is actually 8-bit.

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Hi,

 

For this sort of thing you should consider using vector graphics for characters.  Inkscape or other vector graphics program can get you started. In my opinion, simple game objects such as this should usually be done in vector instead of rasterized graphics, but that might depend on artistic preference.

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They look more 8bit to me, as mentioned above they are pretty small resolution.  Most sprites on SNES were at the least 32x32, though tiles were often seen smaller, when you could find the tile borders I mean, as the quality went up exponentially at that point.

 

I'd also say you are really wasting pixels there.  I'm not really much of a pixel artist myself, but I see too much black in them.  I think you could use those precious pixels for more detail, letting color contrast mark the borders between sections instead of wasting a whole black line.  Final Fantasy 3/6 sprites are great examples of this.

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I count 11 distinct colors, so strictly speaking one could call it 4 bit graphics (thus, 8 bit is closer than 16 bit). Though as Madhed noted, since you posted them as JPEG, they're 24 bit as seen by us (the original image might of course be pretty much anything, for example 48 bit -- 16 bit per channel).

Edited by samoth

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Hi,

 

For this sort of thing you should consider using vector graphics for characters.  Inkscape or other vector graphics program can get you started. In my opinion, simple game objects such as this should usually be done in vector instead of rasterized graphics, but that might depend on artistic preference.

 

I disagree entirely. Vector drawings are completely unsuitable for retro-style sprites, and complicates animation of the style too. Vector is useful when you want to *hide* the pixel, regardless of resolution, raster is useful when you want to feature the pixel, or when you want to optimize for a a specific, generally-low, resolution.

 

They look more 8bit to me, as mentioned above they are pretty small resolution.  Most sprites on SNES were at the least 32x32, though tiles were often seen smaller, when you could find the tile borders I mean, as the quality went up exponentially at that point.

 

I'd also say you are really wasting pixels there.  I'm not really much of a pixel artist myself, but I see too much black in them.  I think you could use those precious pixels for more detail, letting color contrast mark the borders between sections instead of wasting a whole black line.  Final Fantasy 3/6 sprites are great examples of this.

 

Actually, the standard size of the chibi-style art in a lot of overhead games (which his art seems to suggest) are 16 pixels wide, and typically 24 pixels tall (sometimes 16, sometimes 32) -- games like FF6 or Chrono Trigger. Side-view games probably used sizes 32x32 and up thought. Tiles themselves were pretty much always 16x16 -- logical size, anyway, the SNES hardware supported tiles of 8x8, 8x16, and 16x16, I believe. with mirroring support. The SNES only had a resolution of 256x224 -- there was a high-res 512x448 (interlaced) mode too, but only a handful of games used it, mostly for fairly static screens like character selection or text. It was basically the same resolution as the NES (256x240), just more colors, more layers, sprites, and effects were available.

 

I agree that black outlines waste a lot of pixels. Typically in overhead-view SNES art you see outlines only on the external edges left, right, and top -- but not on the bottom where the sprite is grounded to the floor (you do see bottom outlines when the sprite is disconnected from the ground. The purpose of the outline is to separate the sprites from the background in a relatively limited palette, so its not needed on the bottom. They're not always literal black outlines though, in some cases the art gets away with darker shades of the sprite colors.

 

The style of art that most people call 8-bit is really dominated by the particulars of the NES hardware -- You could only have 4 colors in each 8x8 tile or portion of a sprite -- and one of those was the same across all tiles or all sprites, You could actively use only 25 total colors per screen (without writing new colors to the registers between scanlines) and you chose those from a fixed hardware palette of 54 colors (48 colors + 6 greys). The palette covers a lot of ground, but is imbalanced -- lots of blues and greens, but only one or two colors you'd call brown or purple with a straight face. This is why you see some fairly interesting color choices in some NES games. Sprite-size was also limited by hardware -- a sprite was always an 8x8 or 8x16 block, larger sprites were made out of multiple blocks and you could only show 10 such blocks on any line (and no more than 64 on the entire screen) That's why you don't see wide sprites often on an NES -- you could have 5 16-pixel-wide sprites on a scanline, but only 3 if they were 24 pixels wide, and only 2 if they were 32-40 pixels wide. This is also why the NES shows sprite flickering when there's a lot of sprites on-screen -- to get around the hardware limitation programmers would sometimes draw only half the sprites per scanline alternating between frames.

 

On the SNES you still had hardware restrictions, but they were less severe -- The hardware could generate the full range of 15 bit color from which you chose your overall palette, tiles and sprites could incorporate more of those palette colors in a given area, and you could draw a lot more sprite blocks on screen and per scanline, giving way to much larger sprites. The Genesis was not as advanced, but closer to the SNES than the NES in percieved quality of graphics, although the hardware limitations were actually pretty close to middle-ground between the NES and SNES.

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Actually, the standard size of the chibi-style art in a lot of overhead games (which his art seems to suggest) are 16 pixels wide, and typically 24 pixels tall (sometimes 16, sometimes 32) -- games like FF6 or Chrono Trigger. Side-view games probably used sizes 32x32 and up thought. Tiles themselves were pretty much always 16x16 -- logical size, anyway, the SNES hardware supported tiles of 8x8, 8x16, and 16x16, I believe. with mirroring support. The SNES only had a resolution of 256x224 -- there was a high-res 512x448 (interlaced) mode too, but only a handful of games used it, mostly for fairly static screens like character selection or text. It was basically the same resolution as the NES (256x240), just more colors, more layers, sprites, and effects were available.

 

For that game style yes, but for many other games, which make a larger majority of games, sprites were bigger, and not just bosses.  For example, Samus I believe was 48 pixels tall.  The "bigger" platformers were similar in size, like Rocky Rodent, Contra 3, and I can't remember the one with the flying squirrel.

 

RPGs on the other hand, which it appears that the OPs sprite is for, were indeed usually smaller, like you said.  FF2/4 had 16x16, FF3/6 was 16x24, and so on.

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These are both jpgs. So... 24bit?
 
If with 8bit vs. 16bit you mean the art style associated with the computer systems of the time (i.e NES vs. SNES) I'd say they are more 8bit.
16 bit to me would mean higher resolution and more colors.


Those images have way too many colors (11 colors each) to be practical on any 8-bit console, and the colors used are not appropriate to an 8-bit console's color gambit.

They do, in fact, very roughly approximate the "low-fi" style of 16-bit console games like Earthbound on the SNES, which include certain hallmarks of 8-bit-style art, like hyper-saturated colors and pure black outlines, but within the greater color depth afforded by a 16-bit console. However, the overall level of detail is low, even for an 8-bit sprite, the proportions are wonky even for super-deformed style, and they don't read particularly well.

In other words, technically both sprites require 16-bit console hardware, but the aesthetics of both are sorely lacking (the first one more so), which is what's making people say they look 8-bit.
 

They look more 8bit to me, as mentioned above they are pretty small resolution.  Most sprites on SNES were at the least 32x32, though tiles were often seen smaller, when you could find the tile borders I mean, as the quality went up exponentially at that point.
 
I'd also say you are really wasting pixels there.  I'm not really much of a pixel artist myself, but I see too much black in them.  I think you could use those precious pixels for more detail, letting color contrast mark the borders between sections instead of wasting a whole black line.  Final Fantasy 3/6 sprites are great examples of this.


On the SNES at least, RPGs used 16x16 character sprites for a good chunk of the console's life, until around late-1993 to 1994 when they mostly moved up to sprites typically being 16x24, going as large as 32x32 if the character's size warranted it - though the most notable RPG franchise on Sega consoles, Phantasy Star, used 16x32 sprites from the beginning. The sprites shown here, for comparison, are 19x24.

And from a pixel art perspective, the overuse of black is probably the least of these sprites' issues, though the second is less obviously flawed.

EDIT: Wow, 3 more posts in the time it took me to write this out >.< Edited by Anthony Serrano

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