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Pixel Art Details


Title: Brew
Pixel Artist: Eggy  (Level 4 Deputy :: 4807 points)
Posted: 3/1/2014 04:41
Palette: 7 colors
Statistics:  11 comments    0 faves    0 avatars

 "If I'm this good at alchemy, then I'm probably a rip-off of a wizard. A really ugly wizard that I HATE! TO DEATH!"

Thanks to everyone who supported me. I worked on this for almost this whole week. I hope you like it :)

Oh yeah... this "thing" is a she.

Weekly Challenge: Dangerous MixWeekly Challenge: Dangerous Mix


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skittle (Level 9 Nidan) @ 3/3/2014 14:17

Ooo, looks great with the background!

Eggy (Level 4 Deputy) @ 3/2/2014 10:53

Thank you for the explanation. It reminds me of what I learned at high school; I'm studying as a graphic designer and I remember one of my teachers teaching about composition in art :)

I decided to add more bubbles to form a larger triangle.

Manupix (Level 11 Godfather) @ 3/2/2014 10:33

See my edit below: the eyes-vial-bubbles make a triangle that drives the eye around the piece. That's the idea. Even without bubbles, the vial is tall enough to make a smaller triangle so it's ok as is.

Composition is an intuitive business that relies on 'tricks' and feeling more than a set of rules. You try to guide the eye in a satisfying way by creating real or virtual lines, by alternating detailed areas with eye-resting places, by balancing 'masses' made up of darkness, brightness or color, by avoiding uncontrolled alignments, etc.

A map of the main elements of this piece would be this:   [ _ | ]  where _ is the eyes and | the vial. There is balance between these 'opposite' elements.

Eggy (Level 4 Deputy) @ 3/2/2014 10:16

Mind explaining what you mean exactly? :) I don't really get it even though I understand English well as it's a little confusing to me.

Manupix (Level 11 Godfather) @ 3/2/2014 10:04

There always is ;) Good job so far though.

Some fumes or bubbles coming out from the vial might help composition, by balancing the horizontal masses of the eyes with a vertical counterweight, and also break the eyes-vial alignment into a nicer triangular layout. It's not a glaring problem though.

Eggy (Level 4 Deputy) @ 3/2/2014 09:48

I have changed the flames at the left side so they're a bit farther away from the face. Is there anything else that should/can be improved? :)

Manupix (Level 11 Godfather) @ 3/2/2014 09:39

Tail: good to go.

Bg: not so; I'm afraid you reduced readability and depth. The 'flames' come too high and clash with the face, they shouldn't go higher than mid-upper arm. Actually it doesn't need to read as actual fire as I think that creates unneeded complexity in the self-sufficient scene. The justification is just diffuse light from the vial or from nowhere, and it should only be kept if it helps the image in some way (by hopefully detaching the character from the bg).

Edit: on second thought, maybe it works. Just make sure to leave enough room between flames and face.

Eggy (Level 4 Deputy) @ 3/2/2014 09:30

Ok, I have attempted to break the evenness and I've also attempted to fix the arm/tail readability clash, but I think I failed at making the arm cast a shadow on the tail (i.e. I tried to, but I don't think it looks a lot like a shadow and I still wish for the tail to be at least a little visible). I've added a purple fire thing in the BG, and I've also added some fire wisps above. Did I do it right?

Manupix (Level 11 Godfather) @ 3/2/2014 08:21

Better =)

Agree I shouldn't have said random, let me explain in more detail. There is a shading issue, and a pixeling issue.

Shading: transitions between values have no reason to be evenly spread the same way everywhere. There should be some sharper boundaries where light abruptly ceases to be cast. Also breaking evenness generally makes a piece more gratifying to explore, it gets boring when every area looks the same.
Pixeling: as I have said before, refining (dithering, texturing, AA etc) should be done single pixel after single pixel while checking each step at 100-200%. Only thus can you make sure that it works as intended at both the pixel level ('nice' patterns, clusters etc) and global level (what it looks like). Which in turn is why it's so long, and small is beautiful ;)

The new bg texture is the best yet, although maybe still too even. Surely don't add cyan there, but patches of the next purple (nothing brighter than that) at the bottom might help add some depth, worth a try.

One last issue I didn't mention before is the arm/tail readability clash. The tail being farther from the light source should be darker than the arm, so the positions of each color should be staggered; also the arm should cast a shadow on the tail.

Eggy (Level 4 Deputy) @ 3/2/2014 00:36

Thank you, both for the praise/comment and critique :)

Textures aren't exactly random; on the tail I attempted to emulate fur texture, while on the rest of the body I tried to do stylized dithering in order to try to emulate human skin as I had no other choice of shading (I even used this as a reference) as the shading "areas" kinda clashed too hard without some sort of "gradient" imo, but when I looked at the Pixel Art tutorial on the forums it looked more like random dithering than stylized dithering. I'm pretty sure I can do something about BG and the shading since I've got plenty of time left. In other words, I can easily fix that.

EDIT: Altered the shading at the head (I didn't know what to do about the shoulders/armpit) and added a background, and as I was inspired by your edit, I decided to make it a fire-like background, but I think I failed at doing so. I was thinking of adding a cyan core, but I dunno if that's going to work well.

Manupix (Level 11 Godfather) @ 3/1/2014 14:05

Cute and fun, I like this =)

Not sure about transparency, a dark bg would give it more atmosphere I think.

Generally good shading, except the big highlight patch on the head which messes with composition (draws the eye towards it but nothing happens there); also the shoulder/armpit area is hard to make sense of.

Textures are too random but this piece is too large for careful work on this, as you know ;)

Very rough edit about some of these and a few minor things (I severely failed on the shoulder too):

Related & Tags

Brew avatars, Brew icons, Brew pixel art, Brew forum avatars, Brew AOL Buddy Icons

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