Pixel Art!

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Renzatic, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Location:
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    #1
    Over the last year or so I've been slowly, slowly practicing drawing, modelling, and all that good stuff. I rarely ever have as much time to commit to it as I'd like, so my progress has been...well..glacial.

    But there's always been something a little lower than the high end that I've wanted to get into. Something that doesn't require high end multi-core computers with gigs and gigs of ram. Something people have been doing on those old jalopy computers that were around everywhere back in the 70's and 80's. Nevermind shaders, ambient occlusion, or any of those other fancy technical words. If your machine could display more than 16 colors onscreen at once, you were on the cutting edge!

    Those were simpler times back then. The kids minded, you kept your doors unlocked at night, and no one had heard of dub-step. If you wanted to make a pretty picture on your computer, you used tools roughly as powerful as MS Paint. It was a great time to be alive.

    ...and I'm trying to recapture the essence of those halcyon days. WITH PIXEL ART!

    I've been playing with it for about 2 weeks now, and I've come to realize it's simplicity is somewhat deceptive. It doesn't take much to do, but you have to learn to do so much with so little, and have a good understanding of how colors work together (which, admittedly, is a skill I only halfway have). What I'm about to show below are my two most recent attempts at honing my pixel skills. The first one is my latest work in progress, and the second a goofy attempt at an isometric perspective that's only good for showing my progress.

    So here goes, my stuff, and what's quickly becoming my technique.

    Much like any art, you start with the bare basics. I'll begin with whipping up a line drawing of what I intend to build. Nothing fancy, just getting the shapes down.

    [​IMG]

    Next up, I'll start the coloring and shading. Give it some depth, so I'll know what I'm working with.

    [​IMG]

    Looks kinda cool, in a mushy sorta way. If I wanted a simple cel-shaded look, I'd leave it at that. But I'm a detail whore, so I trudge on...

    [​IMG]

    And more detail. This is supposed to be a futuristic desert building. It needs to look like it's exposed to the elements.

    [​IMG]

    And some more detail. I'm kinda thrilled with these canopies I'm about to show off. It took tons of studying pictures and an uncountable amount of abortive attempts to get them right. But I finally did, and I think they look pretty cool. This more than anything shows me I might end up being kinda good at this.

    [​IMG]

    That's as far as I've gotten thus far. It's taken me about 4 days, including today, of experimentation and studying other people's work to get to this point.

    And for the fun of it, I mixed up a night shot right fast to see how it'd look.

    [​IMG]

    Though like I said above, this isn't quite my first attempt. I've been goofing making little props to get a feel for it, and my first big problem was my isometric room. I liked the style when I was a kid, so I thought I'd make an attempt at it for my first real go.

    I started it out similarly enough. Lines and more lines.

    [​IMG]

    Add in the detail, which took FOR FREAKING EVER. I'd say it took me about 6 days to get to this point.

    [​IMG]

    And more detail. I decided to toss in some furniture for flavor. It looked like it was going okay at first, but then I threw everything together, and realized...

    [​IMG]

    ...I made the bed too big. That's when I decided to try something a little easier to get more practice in.

    So tell me what you think. Critique away!
     
  2. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #2
    Very-very nice looking pixel art you have there. I like the these shades of brown/grey/olive-green ...

    Keep it up!
     
  3. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    #3
    Makes me want to start classic point n' click adventure games all over again :)
     
  4. Renzatic thread starter Suspended

    Renzatic

    Joined:
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    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    #4
    Ha! Before I decided on the Nintendo era RPG style, the first thing I wanted to do was make something like the old Sierra EGA games. Think Space Quest III and Quest for Glory II. I always liked the way they looked for some reason.
     
  5. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #5
    That is too darn good, loving the detailing in the work. You need to put this on Behance and gain some further feedbacks and followings.
     
  6. Renzatic thread starter Suspended

    Renzatic

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
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    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    #6
    Thanks. I might have Behance once I have a little more to show. What you're seeing right now is about the extent of what I've done. I'd still say I'm very much learning the ropes at the moment. Nowhere near ready to start posting portfolios just yet.
     
  7. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #7
    Work like this I really enjoy, it's fun to see how it comes together. I would suggest once you get a nice collection you do need to share it and gain a following, because it's really nicely done.
     
  8. Parkin Pig macrumors 6502a

    Parkin Pig

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire-by-Gum
    #8
    Nice work - you've really got an eye for pixel art.
    I'm feeling all nostalgic now.
     
  9. BBC B 32k macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Great stuff. Your timing could be perfect as iOS allows for lots of retro style gaming. Myself, I am old enough to be an 8bit fan. How good are you with four colours? :p
     
  10. Renzatic thread starter Suspended

    Renzatic

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    #10
    Pretty alright, actually.

    [​IMG]

    This is the first bit of pixel art I did, and I used Gameboy colors to do it because, hell...there's only 4 of them. :p
     
  11. BBC B 32k macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #11
    Very nice. Good shading.
    Any stuff in primary colours? - real old school.
     
  12. na1577 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #12
    I love the bedroom! Very nice work. I've always liked pixel art and I've dabbled in it a bit, but I get lost easily so I never made much progress.
     
  13. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #13
    I like the room. The grime on the walls is a nice touch. The crack isnt bad either and the floor reads a nice texture without being to busy or loud.

    I agree with what you said about the bed its to big.
     
  14. Renzatic thread starter Suspended

    Renzatic

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Location:
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    #14
    Like the ZX Spectrum and stuff? That's just a tiny bit before my time. Even though I had an Atari 800 with a few games on it, my 8-bit days began in earnest with the Nintendo and Gameboy.

    ...and yeah, I have thought about doing some NES style sprites. I might do that later, once I get used to making palettes. But right now, I want colors, and lots of 'em.

    I think the room's alright. It looks just a little too bland to me, because it doesn't have any real shadows to it, just shading. If I threw in lights from the windows and transom, and maybe threw in a lamp as a lightsource and colored it all in, I'd probably like it a lot more. It's a good first run, but it needs that little bit more before I start really liking it.

    And texture, that's what I'm having the most trouble doing at the moment. If I have something to guide me, like the lines between the boards on the floor, I can fill things in pretty nicely. But big empty spaces I can't quite do yet. Whenever I try, most of my attempts end up looking a little too busy, or too weird.

    The wall on my desert building? I originally wanted to make it look a lot more weather worn, but it came out too sloppy. The shadowed and highlight cracks was my compromise. Until I get better at implying grime and dirt, most of my stuff tends to have a cel-shaded look to it, which you can see with my little doodles I've been working on...

    [​IMG]

    (fun fact! I made the angled standing stones in Pixaki on my iPad. Pretty cool little program).

    The flat shaded look has its perks, but I want to be able to make stuff like this...

    [​IMG]

    ...and that level of minute detail is still just a bit beyond me.

    Like anything, having the patience to stick with it and working through your mistakes is the key to getting good at it. Do what I did, and study the hell out of stuff other people have done.

    ...and start out sorta simple, like I am.
     

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