Gravista @ 2/20/2021 17:27 commented on Plague Breaker - Title Screen

Wow, beautiful. Also love that volumetric feeling on the green mist...

Gravista @ 2/19/2021 00:46 commented on yandere martial arts girl

Nice! I enjoy how little AA this has, feels very crisp.

Gravista @ 2/17/2021 16:53 commented on Metroid - Samus

Jeremy, Slym - I take your points, thanks. Good to know that using color reduction at some stage is acceptable in principle, as long as the polish is there.

I don't plan on using 3d much moving forward. Clearly some people are not fans, and if nothing else, it creates too much work explaining it all after the fact. I'd rather spend that time drawing. But as I said - if I do I'll mention it upfront.

When I joined PJ last month I was hoping to find people who care what they're looking at. I certainly have found that!

Gravista @ 2/16/2021 19:54 commented on Metroid - Samus

Thanks @Hapiel, appreciate the insight on how the selection process works, and if anything it's good to hear that this breakdown would have played a bit in its favor from your perspective as mod. If anyone rated this piece with other assumptions on how it was done, I'm sure they may want to revise their rating - I would if I had assumed this was drawn entirely freehand. It's all good.

I also really appreciate the civil discussion... at first I'll admit I felt I might be about to be thrown to the wolves, but the spirit in which people have asked for details is really wonderful. For a second I dreaded this might turn into a youtube comment thread instead of a discussion between artists, but that doesn't appear to be the case thankfully!

@Hapiel, I agree with you about the legs - the form is a little wonky and more form fitting on the left thigh than the right. I could definitely keep polishing that.

@ptoing, thanks for the quick edit. I see what you're saying. I'm not really sure either why that's happening, since those pieces do come from the 3d render, but I may have messed with them enough to create a problem. For example, I moved the tiny black rivet in the front of one of the hip "braces", which was clearly not a good move. Also I think the grey outer shell that I drew on the outside of the thighs might not be respecting symmetry either and giving an impression of lopsidedness. Also possible the bg is giving the wrong sense of where the vanishing point should really be. Not sure. Good point on the inner thigh panel, I see it now that you say it.

About the rendering style being messy - on some of my other images I do keep them a bit rough by choice, like the ones I submitted for this week's challenge, but I'll be honest, in this case, it was just a matter of patience. Yes I did want edge wear and scratches and that gritty feel - but I could see this piece benefitting from several more hours of finessing. I'm honestly in awe of some of the pixel-perfect control I see in people's work here, and the patience I imagine it requires. I'm getting a lot of inspiration from that, and maybe will try a piece that is really about that some time.

Gravista @ 2/16/2021 19:39 commented on My Precious

Thanks zombieMode! (Awesome avatar portrait btw)

Gravista @ 2/16/2021 19:38 commented on My Precious

Thanks Theoden, username checks out!

Gravista @ 2/16/2021 01:20 commented on Metroid - Samus

Ok, here is the full process. Warning, long post.

As I said, this does use 3d and color reduction at one stage, so if those are bad, sorry! (see previous comment). But if it depends, well, there is also a lot of pixel work. So I'll break it down, you be the judge.

I started from this human model.
Sculpted it into this.
Rendered with a uniform shiny red color, a yellow, and a grey. Comped them in photoshop, with this bg photo.
That resulted in this.
Here I was going to make it traditional concept art. But decided, hey, what about a pixel art take on this?

I chose 64 colors because it's a power of 2 like most retro palettes (16,32) I built my palette by color-picking individual colors from the RGB image (starting with 47 colors to leave some), then did a color reduction, forcing it to use that manually created palette, with no dithering. Then scaled down to 320px resolution in nearest neighbor, to make everything as broken and blocky as possible and force myself to re-AA and re-render as much of it manually as possible. By then I had this.

That was my starting point for the pixel work part. If you look at it from afar, it might seem basically done, but if you zoom in, at the pixel level, it's pretty horrible. So I thought that would be a good exercise.

From there I drew at the pixel level, adding colors to my palette as needed until I hit 64. Some things I touched heavily, and some I didn't, most of which you mentioned. I thought the grey-red transitions were nice, though they needed to be cleaned up. I was happy with the breastplate so I touched it very little, though still had to clean up (and could have done more) And yes shadow areas got less attention than light areas.

But other things I did change heavily. Arms and legs are almost completely redrawn. The canon too (the model didn't have one). A lot of the helmet and the visor are redrawn. Even the pieces that are faithful to the model had to be re-pixelated to work better at that resolution. Another wip.

I redrew the mountains completely, but you're right about the grass. I totally flaked on that. Originally I was going to draw over it and make it tall grass, but I didn't get around to it. I didn't think it was too big a deal, since it was just a little bit of bg in the corner, but I can see why some might feel differently.

The red AA on the inner leg was a manual pixel-level decision. I'm glad you noticed actually. I like this sort of blooming and thought it would be cool. I plopped a couple blue pixels inside the visor, conveying a partially visible eye, and then I was about done looking at it.

Here is a before/after GIF if you want to easily see what was reworked.

So there you go - maybe some will feel all this makes it "not pixel art" or "partial pixel art"? I'm honestly not sure. I've been thinking that maybe I should take it down and resubmit it with all this info in the description, so people can re-vote with full context on whether it qualifies. I have no problem with that. This was a bit of a one-off for me. I like to play with different approaches, and so far the other images I've posted are done with traditional methods. That's what I expect to do more of in the future. Either way, if I do this kind of hybrid thing in the future I'll just mention it in the description so there's no ambiguity.

Gravista @ 2/16/2021 00:34 commented on My Precious

Haha, thanks! It is hard to stop.

Gravista @ 2/15/2021 20:37 commented on Amigara Fault Self Portrait

Amazing. Totally love this unique approach to dithering. Love the eyes especially! Just wow.

Gravista @ 2/15/2021 19:08 commented on My Precious

Hi all - really enjoying your comments, thank you! 

b236 - yes! tragic point n click! That's funny, I hadn't thought of it that way.

Thanks for the excitement LaersoR!

Kurz - thanks a lot!

ThrillhouseSSB - thank you - and thanks for the nod to the preview image.

Thanks Taks, glad you like it!

I hope it's ok that I respond to everyone in a grouped message - I feel like it's better if the comment section isn't too crowded with my responses. Still figuring that out.

Gravista @ 2/15/2021 19:03 commented on My Precious

Thanks Drea - I really have been spending too much time doing pixel art these last few days and really need to stop!

Gravista @ 2/15/2021 19:02 commented on At Sea

Jrojas28 thank you very much!

Gravista @ 2/15/2021 19:01 commented on At Sea

Thanks mupixl!

Gravista @ 2/15/2021 18:58 commented on At Sea

Thanks Hapiel! I thought the challenge idea was inspiring!

Gravista @ 2/15/2021 18:57 commented on Metroid - Samus

Jeremy - yes I can link to the sculpt. I'll do that later today and try to put together a wip board, with stages of the process. You're right about a lot of these points, but you'll have to just see what you think.

The big thing I am getting here is that "color reduction" is a bad word. I did use one at one point in the process. I didn't think this was a bad thing, I guess I can see why it can be, if I think about it. I'd really like to understand this. I read the PJ guidelines when I first joined here, and came away with the sense that you didn't have to work a certain way, as long as you put in effort, didn't rip off anyone's work, and controlled colors and pixels (which I tried to do, although may have fallen short or not sufficiently cleaned up certain areas) But genuine question about this, is it not OK to work in RGB up to a point, then reduce and curate your palette, and then continue working in indexed from there? Is this a grey area, or just not something you're supposed to do at all? Or can you do it as long as you really clean everything up 100%, which I arguably didn't do here?

Anyway, will come back with wips later on so you can see for yourself.

Gravista @ 2/15/2021 18:56 commented on Metroid - Samus

@ptoing, thanks for the words on the design, really appreciate it. I don't disagree with you about the hips, though I couldn't figure out why, so if you have any insight, I'm all ears.

@Drea, thanks for the compliment

@ squirrelsquid - no problem. It's a fair question, and you weren't the only one asking it!

Gravista @ 2/14/2021 07:08 commented on Metroid - Samus

Hey guys - so since a few of you are asking to view the process I'm guessing there are probably some ground rules I'm not aware of. This image is based on a 3d sculpt I made last year, which I drew over with a pixel brush. Is the use of 3d considered "cheating" here, even if the 3d is original and I rework every part of the frame pixel by pixel? I'm fairly new here, so I'm sorry if that sounds like an obvious question. I know this kind of thing is pretty normal in the concept art world but maybe not cool in pixel art? If so then I apologize and should take it down.

On the other hand, if you're asking if I stole anyone's work, I don't think so, I looked at refs like this and this, but really only took the things that are typical of Samus, like the big spherical shoulders, red chest and green visor.

Gravista @ 2/13/2021 07:33 commented on The cry of the princess

Very sweet. I like the quivering animation, and the large tears (they remind me of Spirited Away).

Gravista @ 2/13/2021 03:12 commented on ZE DOT

Heh. Appreciate the humor of this.

Agree with Eggy though, I don't think this is within the challenge rules, but you could easily fix that by making it a red dot on white screen.

Gravista @ 2/13/2021 02:28 commented on Metroid - Samus

Thanks for the nice words everyone

Thanks WreX, I tried to give it some "edge wear" and scratches.

CELS that's good to hear on the palette! And glad you like the grit!

Gravista @ 2/12/2021 19:54 commented on LOI Starting screen

I think you mean 16 million colors.

Gravista @ 2/10/2021 17:27 commented on _

very moody and expressive, conveying a lot with so little.

Gravista @ 2/10/2021 17:24 commented on Ancient Empires

The left one is nice and satisfying. Really like the urns with their little pockmarks.

Gravista @ 2/10/2021 05:16 commented on A glimpse of freedom

This is so amazing. Especially love the bounce light on her hands and lower face... the use of blue on her back, and the use of purple in the water... the wet hair and how it blends cool and warm. And that's not even factoring in the arcane color limitations...

I wish I could see this on an amiga monitor. If you ever feel OK to share the exe... I'd love to try that, at the very least on an emulator. This is a work of art + engineering.

Gravista @ 2/10/2021 04:55 commented on RoboNinja // Rainy Smash

Thanks for the critique Jok - your work is inspiring.I need to level up in anatomy for sure, that is still a bit of a struggle for me. Glad you like everything else!