2021 Avatar

2021 Avatar

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Pixel Art Details

2021 Avatar

Title: 2021 Avatar
Pixel Artist: Cyangmou  (Level 8 Marshal :: 49590 points)
Posted: 4/25/2021 07:59
Palette: 80 colors
Statistics:  15 comments    3 faves    1 avatars

Just wanted to have a new avatar.


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Gecimen (Level 11 Sphinx) @ 4/27/2021 13:16

While we were all here 10 years ago, none of us had the moderator role back then. The old mods that I know of were very nice people themselves but they cared less about moderating the member interaction. Here's a comment I got on my 2nd piece I posted on PJ:

"this couldn't be more ugly and stiff."

I didn't delete the piece and the comment is still there, the piece is indeed stiff and ugly but it's hardly the ideal way to motivate a newcomer to be better.

Anyways, we want to change things.

The problem is twofold, though. In terms of member interaction, we don't want to silence people, but we should somehow step up and encourage positive interaction as CELS pointed out. PJ gallery is more lively than ever, but the forum culture is dying thanks to many ways of instant messaging and social media; as we've seen with Pixelation. The gallery format, however is still the best way to check out someone's art. For example when someone wants to see what Cyangmou made in years, it's much easier to scroll though here on PJ than, say, twitter.

In terms of gallery rules, what we are trying to do is to keep PJ as a pixel art only site - not because we only like pixel art, but because there's no other place that people can scan through wonderful pixel art with ease. This means we have to limit the gallery to pixel art, but what is pixel art? That is a long standing debate.

Anyhow, your input is important to us, and if you think there are steps we (mods) can take to make you and other professionally active pixel artists post their work here more, please let us know.

Cyangmou (Level 8 Marshal) @ 4/27/2021 12:56

Adarias explained the issue and it is taken care of.

Cyangmou (Level 8 Marshal) @ 4/27/2021 12:55


I only can talk about my very own experience and I got to say my time at pixeljoint never was really pleasant, Whenever I uploaded anything, especially 10 years ago as I just started out, somebody would come around and just say bad things, which is why I deleted a bunch of artworks.

It's even worse if the bad things are then masked passive-aggressively as some constructive criticism. That's probably the biggest dickmove one can employ, and I gotta admit I learned to do this exceptionally well thanks to this site. I also employed this on my own for some time, because it was the example put forth by the older generation I admired and it felt edgy and cool. Actually now I think it's pretty dumb, but kids copy behaviour.

10 Years later and with some experience teaching I got to say that as soon as this is experienced it has to be stopped. Giving critique is absolutely crucial for everyone. But especially with fresh young artists one always needs to be really careful in the way how it is said and the balance between what's solved well and what can be improved has to be kept. They will not only improve their art, but also copy the way of interaction

And sometimes just spreading a bit of positivity can go a long way. I get that it's the internet and that the person on the other side of the screen might not feel real and that we sometimes use the net to blow off steam, but we have to be at all times aware that on the other end of the screen sit real people. Anger spreads fastee than anything else.
So best not to let it come up. We see here in action where it's leading.

Adarias (Level 11 Bonsai) @ 4/27/2021 12:46

Looks good to me!  The revised palette is 2/3rds smaller and well within rules 4+5.  Agree that we maybe could have gotten there a bit sooner with better communication!  But life goes on.

Appreciate the patience and willingness to re-export.

Cyangmou (Level 8 Marshal) @ 4/27/2021 12:38


Oh cool  to see you around. Haven't seen or heard of you in years. I hope you are doing well and I see you made a lot of awesome art in the meanwhile. It's been a decade indeed.

Regarding the octopus the visual flipping effect with the cheeks is cool, At first it happened totally unintentional, but I htink it is really funny and also shows something deeper about pixelart - that you can read it in your own way, which is something I deeply love about the artform.

Cyangmou (Level 8 Marshal) @ 4/27/2021 12:32


I did what you asked for, that's how it should have been from the get go.
Apparently I had the wrong brush set up for the gradient from another work I did before and it should have been clean lines like Geciment pointed out. This definitely was an oversight from my side. If it'd have been pointed out in a friendly way, it's no problem at all to fix it for me, I am not perfect and sometimes also simply get some things wrong. So thanks for pointing out the problem Adarias. I don't intend to water down the rules - especially not for big pieces.I also don't see avatars primarily as amazing pieces of gallery work, but more as means for personal expression.

Adarias (Level 11 Bonsai) @ 4/27/2021 10:51

Hi all, looks like it's my turn to offer perspective!

As Gecimen notes the main purpose of the rules is to prevent a flood of sloppy art.  They were written and recently revised according to extensive community feedback so that we don't come off as completely arbitrary in determining which pieces to allow in and which to send over to the (largely defunct) WIPS forum.

We've accepted works containing transparency and gradients before on the condition that they are secondary elements.  This has always been the case.  We are also much looser when it comes to avatars (which are tiny and more about personal expression) and larger finished works - again the point of the rules is to prevent a flood of, well, crap.  Maybe the rules are due for another update...

But if the question is whether Cyangmou considers per-pixel relationships as the primary mode of working, I'd consider that asked and answered.

Cyangmou the peice has already been accepted, but if you were to edit this to use a smaller and more linear ramp on the BG rather than the auto-dithered one, I think the piece would look mostly identical and there would be no debate.  You have over 100 colors that are used for 1 or 2 pixels.  Surely those are not strictly needed to convey your artistic intention?

DawnBringer, right or wrong about technique you can't actually curse people out without some kind of warning.  You and Cyangmou are both longstanding pillars of the community regardless of any personal disagreement.  Let's keep the discussion about the art, and avoid the name-calling?

CELS (Level 7 Lotus) @ 4/27/2021 07:44

Firstly, this is a really cool avatar. Secondly, I would suggest that PJ's main challenge (IMHO) isn't the presence of negativity but rather the absence of positivity. I doubt new members are scared away by instructions about gradients or color limits. I just think their interest dies down when their work goes unnoticed. PJ's culture has changed drastically since I started posting here. I remember how thrilled I was when my very first submissions got constructive criticism from Dawnbringer, Manupix and ThePixelKnight. Jalonso and Cyangmou took time to help me on the forum. That mattered a lot, more than the presence of unconstructive comments (which I also got). Now everyone is 10 years older and they've got jobs, kids, dogs and lawns to mow. People don't have time to explain pillow shading for the 9000th time, I get it. Discord definitely helps, to an extent. I just miss the enthusiasm of 2011 more than I care about the unnecessary negativity. Maybe I'm being an idiot, I don't know. 

Glad to see this piece accepted, anyway. In the spirit of constructive criticism, I will say that it took me a bit of time to see the glasses as glasses. I kept seeing a mouth (the bridge) and two glowing yellow cheeks. But maybe I'm the only one who saw it that way. 

DawnBringer (Level 10 Maniac) @ 4/27/2021 07:35

Wow, didn't know you were such an ****! You should know better. This sets an awful example to beginners who is trying to grasp the concept of pixelart. But screw that...let's just be lazy, skirt the rules, pull the total loser "my way" excuse and then kill the messenger. Real pro!

(Moderators' note: I removed an expletive for the kiddos in the room.  I belive the intention of the message remains crystal clear - Adarias)

Jinn (Level 11 Cthulhu (The Call of Cthulhu)) @ 4/27/2021 06:33

Hi Cyangmou,

Well, I'm kinda glad this piece raised this discussion. We're hearing what you said. Our image really does need to change if we want to have a healthy place for everyone. I do agree that often people get bullied right away. I was. We're always discussing the best way to approach this subject and you're very welcome to contribute with your opinion.
We discussed it internally, and therefore we're accepting your piece. I, for one, don't see a bending on the rule 5. Even though I think it would look better without the gradient, that's beyond the point here. Anyways, nice job on the octopus, keep it up!

Cyangmou (Level 8 Marshal) @ 4/27/2021 05:17

Ah I guess it is my bad that I forgot why I didn't upload more art here and why I don#t partake in the community.

Honestly the way how Dawnbringer reacts is highly immature and if I'd be new here at the site I'd run away immediately if someone reacts like that, because it's in no way constructive. It's not the first time that I meet people here who are just angry and need to put that anger on others.

As constructive criticism this kind of behaviour is most probably why Pixeljoint is not at all growing with new members and the numbers of people actively participating in the comm has been gotten fewer and why other people in the community are later on copying that kind of behaviour.

For your history lesson how acceptible this is Pixel art always has been used with gradients. Even space invader had colored gradient overlays as physical cutouts to look more interesting and gradients have been used in all kinds of games, not just dither which doesn't even work anymore on non-CRTs to get a gradient.
I could use dither, but it wouldn't look like it should on modern screens.

Gecimen (Level 11 Sphinx) @ 4/27/2021 01:50

I'll politely disagree with Hapiel and Dawnbringer here. The gallery rules about color are here so people don't post without caring about color control and I don't think your knowledge of color control is in question. The mentioned background consists of straight lines, doesn't seem messy and seems to be done on purpose here. I would accept it with a notice (for the viewers, not you) that this piece could use much fewer colors.

Hapiel (Level 11 Pixellite) @ 4/27/2021 01:21
The octopus is great, but the background is unacceptable for the gallery, sorry!
We don't have a 256 color limit, it depends on the context. See submission rules 4 & 5.
You're super welcome to resubmit this without the gradient, and just FYI you can also use this as an avatar even when it is rejected!

Cyangmou (Level 8 Marshal) @ 4/26/2021 11:11

I thought up to 256 is acceptable at pj. I am within those restrictions.

Also the big majority of colors is just the gradient in the background. I mean there is no detail whatever, but I enjoy gradients in the background more than a flat color. I won't fight you on your opinion, but this is my avatar and I'd like to express myself in the way I enjoy. Thanks.

DawnBringer (Level 10 Maniac) @ 4/26/2021 09:01

245 colors? C'mon!

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