Scarecrow Unit

Scarecrow Unit

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Pixel Art Details

Scarecrow Unit

Title: Scarecrow Unit
Pixel Artist: bobusdoleus  (Level 1 Rookie :: 195 points)
Posted: 1/20/2010 08:55
Statistics:  7 comments    0 faves    0 avatars

The spec for this 32x32 sprite was a standing still frame, 3 movement frames, and 3 attack frames. Here's what I ended up with. Imagine it freezing for a bit after the attack, that's probably what it'd be doing, and it looks less dumb :)


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shibumi (Level 1 Rookie) @ 1/22/2010 20:06

Yes, Promotion is the tool of choice in the game industry. Its built for pixel art and animation and allows for incredible palette control. Once you create your animation you just save it as a gif. DONE! Photoshop is fine and also widely used but as you discovered, it's not always friendly for many aspects of pixel art and animating in Promotion is MUCH easier.

bobusdoleus (Level 1 Rookie) @ 1/22/2010 20:01

Is Pro Motion a tool of choice? I've actually been looking to see if there are any particularily good pixel editors, particularily with animation capabilities. GraphicsGale leaves something to be desired, particularily since it is very nonintuitive in some respects, being a japanese program - I locked my pallete into greyscale and can't get it back to a color range, for example. I've been using photoshop, and it's powerful and photoshopy, but not completely friendly to pixels in some regards. Copy/pasting can be particularily vicious, as it sometimes lies flagrantly. And it has few animation capabilities.

And yea, I know many people use paint. I could be using paint. But I don't want to because there are better tools available, and anything that makes pixeling easier and more convinient also makes it more fun and therefore leads to more pixeling :)

shibumi (Level 1 Rookie) @ 1/22/2010 13:33

The new image with stationary feet is much better. Not sure what you are using to animate and put your gifs together? I would recommend going to and downloading the demo version of Promotion to make your life easier. I'd speed the scarecrow attack up a bit, it's a little slow. Still need work but the application of the initial suggestions has helped.

bobusdoleus (Level 1 Rookie) @ 1/20/2010 17:31

Mm, I'll implement that one-foot thing. Solid advice.

His arms are made of sticks, so they are indeed quite long and straight. I'll figure out a way to make that more pronounced, I suppose.

I might be able to do the headbob thing, too. Yeeeeeeessss.....

Thanks for the comments! Will have a revised version at some soonish point.


Here it is. Glitchy as all hell, because I HATE HATE HATE compiling gifs, it was more bother than the actual animating, RAAAGH, but it showcases the changes I made. Ignore the fact that scarecrow floats forward one pixel at some point. It's not supposed to, I just HATE GIFS.

shibumi (Level 1 Rookie) @ 1/20/2010 14:17

The characters arms are very long, thats why it looks like he is holding something. If his arms were hanging at his sides, his knuckles would be dragging on the ground. This is OK, just need to be more clear. The forearms are also very straight, so they look like the handle of something. I would recommend locking the feet, getting the upper body under control and then returning to the feet. One foot might stay locked (the one he lifts off of etc) but the other might move. For instance, as he lunges forward, maybe one foot also steps forward. Pay attention to the head too. Lots of body movement but the head stays in place. Try dropping the head a pixel when the foot hits the ground.

bobusdoleus (Level 1 Rookie) @ 1/20/2010 13:40

Well, I don't know how the frames will be used, because it's not my project. Otherwise in something this low frame I may very well be looping it. And the knees really /are/ reversed - this is a shambling scarecrow thing. What I found interesting is that if I follow one foot with my eye it ends up looking like he's actually walking with each foot seperately - or at least I found it to be so. I suppose it might not be apparent enough, and therefore would need reworking.

The character isn't holding anything - the idea is that he is smacking people with his scary scarecrow arms. Does it look like he's holding something? What could I change to make it not look like that?

As for the leg jumpy thing, I tried it with the legs not moving, and it looked stiffly unnatural, so I made the legs jump around... and I guess that's not a good solution either :( I suppose I'll give it another go...

shibumi (Level 1 Rookie) @ 1/20/2010 13:25

The sprite design itself isn't bad but the animation needs a lot of work. In the attack animation the characters feet are changing size and jumping all over the place. Start by anchoring them in the same place for all 3 frames and just concentrate on animating the upper body. When your character winds back to make his strike, whatever he is holding seems to get cut off by the 32x32 boundry you are working in, you want to avoid this. Either make the character smaller or move him to the left in all frames if you can. The anatomy in your walk cycle looks incorrect. It looks like one of the legs has a reverse knee and walks like and ostrich? In a 3 frame animation start with the legs apart, then the legs come beneath the character to support the weight and then are apart again. When you are limited to using just 3 frames you want to remember to repeat a frame ( so the animation will actually be 4 frames long but you are using just 3 pieces of art). So for you walk your frame count will look like this...frame 1,2,3,2...repeat.

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