Well, since I've been prompted before to make a new thread for my announcements that were much more trivial, I think I'll make one for this too.

For the next few months, probably until at least the end of July, I'm going to be dropping out of Programming and Hacking in the PC and Prizm scene. I've realized not only that it's taking up a decent amount of my time, but it's not what I want to spend all of my youth doing. I've always had a passion for art (especially Pixel Art), but I've never been able to allocate time for practicing and creating it. So, I've decided for the time being to replace all of my programming time (except for what I need to do for my AP Comp. Sci. class) with pixel art studying, creation, and practicing time. So, all PC projects of mine are basically on hold for a few months. I'm not going to spend much time (if really any at all) with Prizm development either.

I'll still definitely be on Cemetech daily; I might not post as much, but I'll definitely share some insight with the latest Prizm hacking and projects going on around here a decent amount, as well as posting all of my breakthroughs with Pixel Art here.

What caused this to happen? I've run into a forums group where a ton of masterful pixel artists (masterful doesn't even completely describe how good they are) are helping me improve my skills from the early-to-intermediate range of pixel art, to the advanced/expert level.

Again, I'll still be here, don't worry; but also, don't plan on asking me many tech/programming questions, I probably won't respond about them Razz


EDIT: I'll probably use this thread as my daily "notebook" of what I learned each day RE: pixel art.
I wish you luck in your pixely endeavors. Make sure to post any progress and sprites/tiles/whatever you make along your way here! (Like trees Smile)
merthsoft wrote:
I wish you luck in your pixely endeavors. Make sure to post any progress and sprites/tiles/whatever you make along your way here! (Like trees Smile)

Thanks for the encouragement, Merth! Very Happy I've actually gotten a lot of feedback from these masters about that tree I made for you, and I think I'll try my hand at it again in a month or so, and dedicate it as the "Tree of Merth", or "Shaun". By then I should be able to change "looks like a tree to me!" into "looks like a really cool tree to me!" Smile

That being said... I can share some things I've learned already right here! I'll start with my latest deviation:

That's what I originally considered to be my "final version"; I actually thought it was perfect in every aspect, until I got some amazing criticism. First, the artist helping me out started by widening the width of the space between the eyes, removed noise from the hair (and replaced all the middle tone with the light tone and all the dark tone with the middle tone), and added a lot more glare to Twilight's right side:

Then, he decided to give me a "color lesson", by changing the outline and fill colors around a bit:

The hair was simply moved up a shade in brightness, except for the highlights in her hair (the more defined purple and pink colors were made a bit less saturated, the dark purple color was changed into a flat purple and the pink took up a new shade that was a pink-major anti-alias color of the purple, for nice blending.) The body shade got a cooler color with the R component of the RGB values being decimated, and then increased the luminosity. The outlines were basically just a shade of the containing color with slightly less luminosity; my original version had it being much less luminous than the containing colors. I like his idea for this, because while it makes the whole body seem a bit less defined against the more contrasting style of the hair, it's more MLP G4 stylish (the outlines aren't very defining, like in this shot of Twilight in non-poofy mode):

I then went on my own and took away some outlines here and there to give even more of a G4 style, since some entities like the eyes don't really have defined outlines:

Then his latest edit removes more outlines from more entities, fixes the shadow under her body to fit her general size and shape better, and adds a shadow between her eyes and glare on her nose area (an interest addition I'm a bit unsure about, since I think it takes some G4 style away, but style aside it adds nice dimension to that part of her face):

So, things I've learned from these edits:

- Using darker, more saturated colors for ponies can be overkill, since generally they have lighter, luminous shades.
- Don't be afraid to add glare, it adds a lot more dimension than just shadow alone.
- Outlines don't always have to be a lot less luminous than the containing colors, sometimes a lack of an outline or a very light one can do wonders for rounded and/or organic subjects.
- Anti-alias around inside borders! It adds a nice, smooth effect, and makes the whole thing look a lot less blocky! Of course, don't dare doing this around the outer borders, that's a major mistake.
- Adding noise effects and dithering to a texture where it doesn't fit the style can make the whole thing look a bit sloppy and poorly-planned.

That's it so far today, tomorrow I'll see what I learn and make a report of it!
So, I've gone back and did my own edits from scratch on the original piece, and I think that the final result turned out pretty nice after 2 hours of editing!

I did a slightly-excessive job with the manual anti-aliasing, but it helped the borders feel less blocky and the eyes feel more 3D (though I think I have more colors in the eyes' palette than I do in the entire rest of the sprite! Razz). Spread the eyes further apart as well, and made them smaller, but they're still large enough for a d'aww effect I think.

EDIT: just got it up on DA! http://theashbad.deviantart.com/art/Twilight-Sparkle-Wrong-Side-of-the-Hay-Rev-2-301062412
I'm going to give this piece a third revision, I think. This one will be a lot smaller than the original difference between the two edits, I'm just going back to clean up a few jaggy edges, possible fix up the eyes a tiny bit more, make shading a slight bit more consistent, etc. Hopefully I'll have something to show later today.
Globalmap wrote:

Yep, ponies are quite awesome Very Happy I like doing pony pixel art, since I can really go freestyle with it, and because of course I like ponies (especially Twilight Sparkle :3). Any comments/suggestions/critiques on my latest Poofy Twilight Sparkle sprite edit?

And, on a side note, we have a thread here specially dedicated to MLP discussion, feel free to check it out and post silly filly things there! Smile http://www.cemetech.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7571&highlight=brony
Not related to pixel art (well, yet), but it's my art thread so I'll post it anyways.

Well, it's not *technically* my first pony drawing, but it's my first non-traced one (and, by extension, I didn't use a single reference picture!) I've been working on my pencil art skills for the past week or so; I personally feel that I have some artistic talent, but I realize that if I don't train myself to use it when I'm at a young age, it'll be much harder to train myself later on. As for what I can draw now after practicing for a week, I can draw ponies pretty well (now that I've extensively studied their anatomy and face structure, the latter of which was something I struggled most with actually) along with some cartoony humans.

Anyways, here's what I just finished drawing:

I'm planning to make a pixel art of it later today or tomorrow, and possibly try making a vector. Who knows about the vector idea, I can barely seem to use Inkscape.
Well, after many hours of work, I've turned that sketch into pixel art.

Tried a new style of pixeling ponies; tried for heavier borders for shadow, in addition to reducing banding that I normally get with some medium-heavy dithering. Comments/Suggestions/Critiques?

EDIT: dA link -> http://theashbad.deviantart.com/art/Pixel-Rainbow-Dash-the-Art-of-Being-Awesome-303222979
Nice rainbow.
allynfolksjr wrote:
Nice rainbow.

Thank you, kind sir ^_^
That is pretty cool, especially considering i couldn't even trace that...
It seems a little overly-dithered, and doesn't look like a tree. Other than those two things, It's good.
merthsoft wrote:
It seems a little overly-dithered, and doesn't look like a tree. Other than those two things, It's good.

True, and true. I've decided to go back and redo the shading entirely, and mostly remove the dithering. I think it actually came out pretty decently:

EDIT: dA link -> [Removed, doing yet another revision]

Basically raised the lum/dropped the hue in the brighter colors, dropped the lum/sat and raised the hue in the darker colors, and removed some of the intermediary colors. Plus, fixed some of the A-A and border issues.

As for the trees: I'm actually in the process of drawing up a tree now, from which I plan to make a large tree sprite eventually out of. There's a cool few techniques for making beautiful pixel trees I'm playing around with, so hopefully I'll be able to make a really nice one soon! Smile
That looks incredible.
Svakk wrote:
That looks incredible.

Thanks, kind sir ^_^ I'm actually hoping to improve upon it a ton (again) tonight, to add shading to the hair, and improve some of the shading Smile
I think the hair could definitely use some shading like you said. It's been over a year pretty much since I've done anything on this site, but its good to see everyones still keeping up with different projects. It's gonna take me a lot of reading to catch up on everything Kerm's done since I left.
Svakk wrote:
I think the hair could definitely use some shading like you said. It's been over a year pretty much since I've done anything on this site, but its good to see everyones still keeping up with different projects. It's gonna take me a lot of reading to catch up on everything Kerm's done since I left.

In that case, welcome back to Cemetech! Very Happy I can tell you up front, in the past year or so a *lot* has happened here, so catching up on everything might be a bit daunting. However, I'm sure everyone here would be more than glad to bring you up to speed.

EDIT: Have been working on this a bit more. Fixed the shading issues, got rid of some of that contrast, and shot it thoroughly with my German A-A (anti-aliasing) submachine gun. Now, I'm working on fixing some fin-tuning issues (mostly banding) in the body, and then I'm onto the daunting task: the hair.

After many hours of work and experimentation.. Ta-Dah!

dA link -> http://theashbad.deviantart.com/art/Rainbow-Dash-Art-of-Being-Awesome-Edited-303636543

EDIT: learned a lot along the revision process ( https://img.ourl.ca/rfg/7-Rainbow_wow_fa_sho.png )

I think that through my reading of upper-level pixel art tutorials/knowledge dumps, I've improved in my pixel art abilities significantly in the past few weeks. For example, 3 weeks ago, I would've considered this to be a perfect work:

Now I look at it and shudder. Even this:

A week ago I would've said it was perfect. Now I realize it suffers from some bad banding and jaggies, needs better shading consistency, and anti-aliasing. I think I'm going to go back and do another edit on this one Smile
Been a week or so since I last posted anything here... So let's break that Smile

dA link -> http://theashbad.deviantart.com/art/Pixel-Twilight-Sparkle-Twilight-is-Amused-304885717

Took me a few hours to make. The original pose in my concept sketch of this (that I did during standardized testing on a sticky note) was a plot shot, but I played with the pose a lot and it ended up like this. Used 32 colors on this one, and since I know a few people here probably are more into larger restrictions than that, I kept a 16 color version from about an hour ago before I started Anti-aliasing and selouting.

EDIT: a bit excited; my idol *PixMeister thinks that I did "very good work" on this Very Happy I'm so ecstatic mostly because he's giving me great criticism on my past works, and because he's incredibly good at pixeling ponies.

EDIT2: Put it up on PixelJoint, and soon afterwords took it right down again. Lots of comments about it were pictures of pixel dudes throwing up, followed by comments like "ew, ponies". I don't plan on uploading anything, including non-pony pixels, there ever again.
Register to Join the Conversation
Have your own thoughts to add to this or any other topic? Want to ask a question, offer a suggestion, share your own programs and projects, upload a file to the file archives, get help with calculator and computer programming, or simply chat with like-minded coders and tech and calculator enthusiasts via the site-wide AJAX SAX widget? Registration for a free Cemetech account only takes a minute.

» Go to Registration page
Page 1 of 3
» All times are UTC - 5 Hours
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum