Island of the Empire v.2

Island of the Empire v.2

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Pixel Art Details

Island of the Empire v.2

Title: Island of the Empire v.2
Pixel Artist: CELS  (Level 7 Lotus :: 19570 points)
Posted: 3/4/2015 08:51
Palette: 23 colors
Statistics:  21 comments    52 faves    0 avatars

Not quite like the original. Also toyed with a rain animation, but couldn't make it look good.

Thanks to Willabee, Decroded, Night and Cyangmou.


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CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 6/15/2016 15:33

@Zizka: That's weird, it looks like I never replied to your comment. Thanks, at any rate! I hadn't practiced traditional art when I pixelled this, but that's what I'm doing these days. :)

You're probably right about the smoke, I couldn't really figure out how to make it right.

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 3/12/2015 05:49

@someolddoor: Thank you! You make a good point about both the speed and the length of the drops. I really love pixel art with rain animations, so it's definitely something I will come back to and I'll keep it in mind next time. If I can get away with 2 or 3 frames, then the extra work from making rain transparent and reflective isn't necessarily out of the question for such a small piece. Cheers :)

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 3/12/2015 05:47

@Friend: Well, if you're talking about conveying some sort of mood or emotion, I think there's a point to minimalism on that abstract level as well. Regardless of your artistic style, there's any number of things you can do to be evocative. For example, rain would add more emotion to this piece. And a burning house would too. And people in the streets. And blood instead of water coming out of the fountainhead.  But removing the rain didn't just reduce the number of evocative elements, I think.  It also changed the emotional feel of the piece, making it less dynamic and more static. The city feels more... dead. It's less dramatic, but perhaps a bit more eerie. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I hope.

But I did prefer a3um's edit, to be honest.

Zizka (Level 10 Deep Blue) @ 3/10/2015 16:52

Have you been spending a lot of time practicing traditional art? There's been quite a level up recently.

Only thing bothering is the animation of the smoke which moves in weird to my eyes.

someolddoor (Level 1 Private) @ 3/10/2015 09:31

Wow, this is fantastic. Great job!

Looking at the version you made with the rain, I feel like it could totally work, but the rain seems to be falling too slowly. If you made each individual rain "drop" a fair bit longer, you'd be able to smoothly animate them falling faster.

Some animations even alternate beyween just 2 or 3 frames at a high frame speed, as well as drawing the rain falling at an angle to show the strength of the wind to increase the dramatic effect.

Friend (Level 3 Hatchikyu) @ 3/10/2015 07:54

I'm not sure exactly how to express what I mean, or if it is even important to get across, since you know better than me.  I don't mean that it has to have a narrative element, though.  The simplest way I can put is that good art either evokes something like a thought or feeling, or is able to leave some kind of impression, no matter how abstract.  It is the difference between a crude children's drawing, and a master's crude drawing.  This is what I mean by a work having life to it.  And I think rain or fog often adds a lot of it to a vista...Even if what it evokes is the opposite of living breathing life, that it evokes and stirs something in the viewer is what gives it life or power of its own.

I know personally when I'm watching a movie, when the climax is drowned in storms, it is usually accompanied by screams and shouts and violence or chaos- The rain and fog sort of become its own living entity.  Think of it this way- if you took the rain and fog out of your scene, would it have the same impact?  Personally I find the piece falls a bit flat since you took the rain out.  Even just shifting some of the colors like a3um did could probably give impact back to the piece, since it makes you feel more like the buildings are actually there; that the scene is actually real, and not just rectangles on a canvas (minimalism is cool though, since good minimalists can make something like rectangles on a canvas have power and weight)

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 3/10/2015 07:16

@Mandrill: Thanks a lot! I think I'll stick with doing these small pieces for a while. It's easier to finish them without burning out :)

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 3/10/2015 07:15

@Friend: Yeah, I see now, thanks. When you said something needed to stick out, I thought you meant something like a big red dragon or something. Breaking up the colour ramp a bit really helped though.

I'm not quite sure what you mean about "life". But a lot of people feel like good art should have a narrative or tell a story, which I suppose translates kind of to what you say. Even a ghost town could tell a story and thus have some "life" to it.  The effect of using fog depends greatly on how you use it, but it can sometimes make a scene look submerged or preserved in some kind of liquid. Kind of like how this photographer wanted to cover people in honey, to give the sense that they were preserved in amber, almost.

Mandrill (Level 9 T-rex) @ 3/8/2015 11:26

Damn, man, this is hot! What an improvement over the previous piece.

I love how you managed to create a sense of depth with perfectly picked shades of blue, green and grey. The centre of the image is especially well done with all the little details and subtle animation.

Nothing to complain about, ol' chap!

Friend (Level 3 Hatchikyu) @ 3/6/2015 16:52

i didnt know how to say exactly what i meant but i think a3um helped you discover it yourself with how the original loses depth with the monochromeness.  i also like how a3um gave some things that catch the reye without being overpowering, like the rain and some shine in the lights here or there

i also find it interesting how you talk about the rain and fog charming in that it sucks life from a vista.  does it really?  To me, the bleakest of painted vistas have as much "life" as a lush rainforest.  I think even in a somber, lifeless setting, a work should still have "life" to it.

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 3/6/2015 00:22

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks!

a3um (Level 4 Shichikyu) @ 3/6/2015 00:04

You pretty much named the reason - breaking the monotone ramp. Sometimes even hueshifted gradient ramp looks boring and adding a slighly different hue/saturation might bring the whole palette to a different level. So here I felt like the palette needs more red hues and that's all - not to mention that I really like red/teal color combination. If you want some particular explanation - I imagined some of the houses to be made of red bricks and then added overall blueish atmosphere and got purple. 

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 3/5/2015 16:00

I've gone and made a quick edit without the rain, just to try to understand what you've done and there's certainly a lot more than what meets the eye. At first I was blown away by the rain and the wet, shiny look you gave the city, but there's also a lot of subtle colour swaps in your version, which are great.

There's one thing that really gives your edit a lot of... weight, or depth, I don't know how to put it. The blue-ish hue you've used (RGB 76,84,102), which actually looks kind of purple by contrast. I think it looks great, but I don't understand the rationale behind it, so I'm worried I won't be able to replicate it in future work. Essentially, you've broken the colour ramp which traditionally moves from warmer to colder and/or high contrast to low contrast. This adds a "layer" within the piece that kind of breaks the monotony. But I still don't quite understand when to use this trick, or how it works. Is this something you just did intuitively or is there an explanation behind it?

a3um (Level 4 Shichikyu) @ 3/5/2015 00:33

You're welcome:) Yea, I tweaked some pixels here and there. I felt like rooftops should be brighter because they're wet and reflect light better. As for animation - you're absolutely right. It's going to be huge pain, because you'll have to heavily edit each frame

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 3/4/2015 23:32

@a3um: That's quite possibly one of the best, if not the best, edits I've received. That rain looks amazing, but I feel like you've improved the whole piece tenfold. I think it would be a lot of work to properly animate your version due to the way the rain reflects light, but even the static version looks more lifelike than my animated version anyway.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to do that, I will definitely spend some time working with your edit. :)

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 3/4/2015 23:28

@Sonnenstein, Goodlyay, Nether: Thanks a lot :)

@Friend: I understand what you're saying, but I kind of feel the monotony was so central to my idea that interesting colours would have ruined it. One of the charming and depressing qualities of rain and fog is how it sucks the life out of any vista. I'll give this some thought, maybe I'll change my mind in time.

a3um (Level 4 Shichikyu) @ 3/4/2015 23:00

Regarding the rain animation, I think longer strokes, shifting and flickering are better approach:) but not sure if it'll work with that style. Here is a static rain edit if you don't mind

Nether (Level 5 NES) @ 3/4/2015 21:59

Very clean and stylish. I like it.

Goodlyay (Level 6 Centaur) @ 3/4/2015 12:10

I love it!

Friend (Level 3 Hatchikyu) @ 3/4/2015 10:47

I feel you could play more with color.  The art itself isnt flat at all, but i find the color choices make it feel more flat.  Something needs to stick out or capture the attention and right now i think nothing is

Sonnenstein (Level 4 Sea Turtle) @ 3/4/2015 10:32

This one is awesome. Like this mist!

Related & Tags

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