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Dark Souls Mockup: Need Help With Colors!

Printed From: Pixel Joint
Category: Pixel Art
Forum Name: WIP (Work In Progress)
Forum Discription: Get crits and comments on your pixel WIPs and other art too!
Printed Date: 19 April 2021 at 9:18am

Topic: Dark Souls Mockup: Need Help With Colors!
Posted By: Sjpixels
Subject: Dark Souls Mockup: Need Help With Colors!
Date Posted: 30 August 2020 at 8:42pm
Hey guys. I've started a series where I make the Dark Souls zones as sidescroller mockups. I'm just having some trouble with color picking and would love some help.I'm currently trying to make Firelink Shrine.

Please keep in mind this is far from completed but all the basic elements have been blocked in so I would like to nail down the colors before rendering the rest of the textures (I have only done the tree and the one central pillar).

- The main part I don't like right now is the main stone colors of the ruins. They seem more distant than the tree, which is not my goal.

- I am also at a loss about how to do the sword in the bonfire. I can't seem to convey that it's grey steel while also having the firelight shining off of it. Any ideas on how to do this?

- Finally, something about the grass colors seem wrong as well but I've messed with it a bunch and can't seem to get it right.

Here is an earlier scene from the same series if it helps at all:

Posted By: Sjpixels
Date Posted: 30 August 2020 at 9:12pm
Update: Managed to get the bonfire and ground tile looking a little better but would still love some feedback on them

Posted By: snv
Date Posted: 31 August 2020 at 2:44am
The contrast is shallow and the dungeon is a bit too bright (like it is being lighted by the daylight). Dark Souls has high contrast and is generally very dark.

Here is my edit:

Posted By: Sjpixels
Date Posted: 31 August 2020 at 8:29am
Sorry, I may not have been clear enough. I'm looking for help on the outdoor image with the bonfire. Thank you though!

Posted By: snv
Date Posted: 31 August 2020 at 8:42am
Originally posted by Sjpixels

Sorry, I may not have been clear enough. I'm looking for help on the outdoor image with the bonfire. Thank you though!

Again, you will have hard time conveying colors (that say the sword is gray), when your palette is low contrast, since colors blend together. You will also have hard time conveying the blurry atmosphere of parallax layers, since low contrast already makes front layer "foggy". For example, in PSX game Silent Hill everything looks gray, because of fog and lowered contrast.

Here is an image processing article with a few examples how foggy environment affects image:

Posted By: Sjpixels
Date Posted: 31 August 2020 at 7:37pm
Update: How is this looking?

Posted By: Sjpixels
Date Posted: 01 September 2020 at 9:48am
Updated the first image

Posted By: SeDiceBisonte
Date Posted: 01 September 2020 at 9:50am
I agree with snv regarding the haze/ - aerial perspective . I think all you need to do to make the ruins look like they're just in front of the tree is make them less blue (as this is the colour of the sky in the image, and therefore the colour that objects will fade to as they get more distant) and boost the contrast a bit. Here's a version with different ruin colours. I'm not good with colours so I'm sure there are a million ways this could be refined, but they do look closer to the foreground this way.

I think the sword reads well now, but you could possibly make it less red to differentiate it from the fire. Some quick googling suggests that a campfire would barely make the metal glow from the heat (apparently the average temperature is 499 degrees C/930 degrees F, which makes steel appear "black red") and I'm not sure how reflective sword blades are when they're not decorative. That said, this is more just thinking about alternative ways to portray it because I really like the current sword and, in this context, I don't think that level of realism is necessarily a priority.

Everything's looking good, generally. I absolutely love the tree and the look of the stones in the ruins. The clusters are very nice.

Edit: I also dig the new version of the first image. The contrast boost really makes it pop!

Posted By: Sjpixels
Date Posted: 14 September 2020 at 3:56pm
So here's where I ended up with Firelink

The feedback on here and twitter really helped me get the piece to where I wanted it so thanks guys!

I'm now slowly working on Undead Burg and of course, I'm having some issues. Here's where it's at right now

I've got many hours ahead of me in rendering textures and making the enemies but just wanted to get your opinions on it. How can I alter the colors to make things more cohesive and are there any elements I should add/take away?

Posted By: Pig_catapult
Date Posted: 15 September 2020 at 2:17am
Your greys are all a bit purple, and that really helps it pop out of the brown background, but the foreground wood is fading back into the background because it's still, well, brown. Bring some of that foreground purple hue into it to cool it down, and that should bring it forward.

Posted By: Sjpixels
Date Posted: 24 September 2020 at 8:57pm
Thanks for the advice Pig! Added some more purple to the wood to help it pop. I think I'm finally done with this piece. Not thrilled with it overall but I can't stare at it anymore.

I have 3 color versions here. Anyone wanna give me their opinion on their favorite one?

1. Original

2. Slight contrast boost

3. Photoshop Auto Contrast

Posted By: SeDiceBisonte
Date Posted: 25 September 2020 at 7:32am
Just to be awkward, I like the background (the brown parts and the building roof on the right) in the second one and the foreground in the third one

I absolutely love the lighting on the stones. It looks incredible.

Posted By: Quiara
Date Posted: 25 September 2020 at 10:50am
Yeah, the underlit stones are very 90's pixel art.

My complaint with this mockup is that on all of them, the roof in the background blends in with the stone wall you're standing on, and I think the cardinal rule of platformer graphics is to have a clear delineation between foreground and background.

Posted By: Franuka
Date Posted: 29 September 2020 at 8:53am
Great work and improvements. I agree that the background and foreground are blending a bit.

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