Electric Wizard

Electric Wizard

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Pixel Art Details

Electric Wizard

Title: Electric Wizard
Pixel Artist: Frost  (Level 6 Serial Killer :: 9425 points)
Posted: 2/15/2010 18:09
Palette: 32 colors
Statistics:  40 comments    143 faves    0 avatars

320*256, 32 colors. Made in grafx2 and DeluxePaint V.

If you wonder about the large purple area it's supposed to be that way. The resulution is standard Amiga Pal Lowres and it is pretty hard to make the screen transparent. And I will not crop the picture. It's meant to have those dimensions.


OK, This is the deal:

This is a partly traced piece and I made it as a word in the whole tracing-is-not-pixel-art-discussion. Although it is traced, every single pixel in it is carefully placed by hand by hard work. As far as I can see I follow all points in the stated submission rules so if you don't accept this specific piece to the gallery I really think you should update or reformulate the rules. I'm thinking about starting a thread in the forums about traced pixel art and I probably will do if this picture don't get accepted so that I can continue to discuss the matter there (if not in the comments for this picture)

So... Feel free to bash, flame and make noise, but first: Take some time to think over what this is all about and where and when you should draw the line between Pixel Art and Non Pixel Art.

Oh, and you can find the picture I used as a reference here: troll-stock.deviantart.com/art/Monk-1-39630277


Updated with new preview.

Top Pixel Art - February 2010 (#6)Top Pixel Art - February 2010 (#6)


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syedahumna56 (Level 2 CGA) @ 6/4/2022 19:35


OareasO (Level 3 Sergeant) @ 6/23/2018 14:56

I don't know what to say 

kaze19th (Level 3 Hatchikyu) @ 2/6/2013 18:05

Outstanding, so smooth dithering !

AtskaHeart (Level 8 Regional Boss) @ 1/24/2013 09:07

 Looks so demo-ish :p.

pel (Level 4 Lieutenant) @ 11/10/2012 04:03

Amazing! !

AlabasterJazz (Level 3 Corporate Drone) @ 7/8/2012 11:04

Traced, inspired by, reference photo... who cares? Great art is great art and this is no exception, this is by far one of my favorite pieces.  Very much makes me think of a young senator Palpatine.. "feel the hate"

Dino502Run (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 3/8/2010 19:18

Amazing, I love the style and shading, the colors are great too!

DawnBringer (Level 10 Pixel artist) @ 2/20/2010 16:00

Interesting. You set out to explore where in the sand the PixelArt-line is drawn, with a piece that truly balances on the fence. I think Hatch summarized my feelings in a brilliant way. Coz, in reality; how many pieces are truly the lovechild of a pure Serendipity embrace with the spirit of Michelangelo guiding the authors hand? I'm glad this great picture made it in; as there are many pixels in PJ far less worthy than this. (I'd still like you to challenge yourself with a 12bit palette next time you make an Amiga-format image  )


MegaMan (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/20/2010 10:15

 very nice shadows! хорошая работа

j.negrón (Level 1 Thug) @ 2/19/2010 13:17

man; this looks awesome, great details, and it's very smooth too!!! i hope people understand that., ...

PanicBomber (Level 6 Manager) @ 2/19/2010 11:18

looks like a photo :p very well done.

Frost (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 2/19/2010 09:40

jamon: What? :D

Slemsvamp (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 2/19/2010 08:54

Jävlar! Seemingly aware of where you're placing those pixels. Traced or not, it's increadible.

jamon (Level 10 Operative) @ 2/19/2010 07:39

sorry... but i don't understand this :(

blueleds (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/18/2010 18:50

 Good!  Even if it's traced, I can see the detail pixel-by-pixel placement.  I think, as long as the viewer doesn't think to themself, 'hmmm, this looks like a cheap trace'... then it's all good.  I had no idea it was traced until I read the discription and saw the reference pic.  Oh, and the electric effect you added right?  So that's original.  At first I thought they were water caustic, like he's standing in a cave with pools of water all around and there reflecting off him.



Pumpkinbot (Level 2 Peon) @ 2/18/2010 17:53

Holy shiznit! So realistic! 

Frost (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 2/18/2010 12:01

Helm: Im, perfectly aware of all banding going on in this picture. Most apparent is the 45 degree folds and the bit on the hood just obove the face. Originally, I made this piece as some kind of rant agains all the tracing going on in scene-related pixel compos (I wrote a readme and attached to the archive of the original distrubution from the compo I entered with this) telling people I want to see more original pixels and not just traced photos with added pixeleyecandy. :) I also think that I broke some kind of personal record in speed-pixeling with this piece. It's too easy to trace and it's not a method I gonna favor.

Manjaman: Yes, I know that the "lightning" on the cloth looks more like ligth reflected from water, and I just gave the picture the first name that popped up in my tired little head, and it happened that I was listening to the doom metal band Electric Wizard at the moment. :)

Skurwy87: The background is just some kind of panic attempt to fill out the picture with something else than just the background color (black) and It looks kinda rushed compared to the rest of the picture. I also don't like to crop pictures, fullscreen (320*256, Amiga PAL Lowres) is the way to go, even if some areas are left empty. ;)


Thanks for the critique, and don't think you are beeing to hard agains me or anything. I am my own worst critic and I find extremely many flaws in my own work, wich is one of the reasons I continue to push pixels: to improve.

JusJokin (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/18/2010 10:02

 kinda reminds me of Goh from virtua fighter

aerieyena (Level 1 Seaman) @ 2/18/2010 09:08

I saw this on DA already, I didn't realize it was traced then and knowing it now doesn't take away any of my love for this piece.  It's absolutely beautiful, the shading is so smooth.  I love it. <3

myrkrig (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/18/2010 08:45

OMG! this is awsome :D

Helm (Level 5 Detective) @ 2/18/2010 04:25

As long as the process is transparent and credit is given for material used - as in this case - then I don't see why such material isn't of interest to lovers of pixel art.

The interesting problems of this piece are similar to ones I had to face in my own piece in the same vein, namely : overblurryness and especially the banding that it leads to. There's a lot of places where pixel clusters line up in this and it's a byproduct of the lack of sharp edges and the quantity of colors. Just like in my piece, although choices are made as to where to place pixels and optimization of relations of clusters is a concern, at the end of the day the process itself leads to a lot of bad clusters (for me too, I'm not insulting the hard work that went into this). So many colors might even mean that there aren't optimal clusters for some situations to begin with, which is really something I have to sit down with and think about until it leads to something.

All that said, as long as people are honest about how they make things and do not claim to be doing something they're not, I support the inclusion of such pieces here and in Pixelation.

Manjaman (Level 8 Cannibal) @ 2/18/2010 02:49

That's impresive. Even if this is tracing.

Personnally, I feel  hill at ease with tracing, but you have nothing to prove about your skills, since we can recongize your pixelling style in this piece, and you appropriate yor ref.

The lights on the clothes don't look like electrity though. Make more think to the glints generated by water. In fact, I understood it was electricity when I read the title. That could be electricity, but what's disturbing is that the lightnings don't seem to take off, so they look like glints. Maybe I'm wrong :/

Skurwy87 (Level 6 Made) @ 2/18/2010 02:26

tracing discussion aside, here's a few remarks upon its artistic merit, as seen from my point of view.

- the execution's fine (maybe the aa too soft in places, but it's your style), but I find the palette bleak and uninteresting. it consist of two/three (haven't checked) straight gradient ramps -- one for the dress, one for the face. I'd try and mix them up so that the hues used to render the habit would be used in the face, too. but again, I guess it's a matter of preference more than incompetence.

- I think when you put such a dark background against it, the character comes out too dark as well. he just runs together with the background -- I'd try using contrasting colors (subtly), or some other type of an outline (e.g. some bright thunderbolts). . . this no-clear-cut back/fore-ground distinction is your common issue. I had the same problem with your "smoking soldier" :) (my favorite piece of yours, by the way).

anyways, it's a nice picture. i like it.

greenraven (Level 2 Hired Gun) @ 2/17/2010 14:46

No point in creating a topic, it's already been created. :P

Hatch (Level 3 Hatchikyu) @ 2/17/2010 10:39

I think this is ok. The most important part of a submission, in my opinion, is honesty, which you have in spades. No attempt was made to hide your methods or your references, and the end result is apparently handmade as evidenced by the texturing of the robe, among other things. And it's not like this method is artificially inflating your skill and talent; your gallery speaks for itself.

That said, I don't like tracing and this is a case of EXTREME TRACING. On the other hand, the end result certainly has its own artistic vibe entirely independent of and distinct from the original work--in other words, you didn't just copy someone else's artistic vision, but used it as a starting point for your own. This is important, I think, and something that most traces/gridcopies miss.

Sly (Level 1 Gangster) @ 2/17/2010 10:22

I came. =D

Robinhood (Level 9 Boss) @ 2/17/2010 07:50

Nice smooth colors, good job ;)   Who cares if its traced, as long as you give credit its fine IMO. 

Hapiel_old (Level 1 Intern) @ 2/17/2010 04:30

Good stuff, should be in the gallery!

jamesmorrow07 (Level 1 Jukyu) @ 2/16/2010 15:19

The force is strong with that pixel! I really dig the "lightning" effect on the cloak, which really seems like the light effect when the light hits the water.

Frost (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 2/16/2010 09:56

Krigorn: Yep, The name is from the very same band. Iv'e been listening a lot to Electric Wizard, Sleep and Sunn O))) lately, and that influenced the picture a lot.

Krigorn (Level 3 Private Eye) @ 2/16/2010 05:35

Good job Frost.

(First, i think : "Electric Wizard ? The Doom Metal band ?" )

NaCl (Level 3 Hatchet Man) @ 2/15/2010 22:35

 I think if something is in the grey area, we should favor including it rather then excluding it, assuming it is in the spirit of pixel art. There will never be a definite line that will let us tell if something is or is not pixel art, it will always be a fuzzy line, so the safe bet is to accept things that straddle the line. There really is little point of excluding things on the line, aside from fear of a slippery slope or something, which wont happen.

Frost (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 2/15/2010 21:40


"I know you could have easily put more of your own lines in this and would most likely look even better than the original.  Such as shape of the hood, folds in the fabric, and even the face."

That was also my intentions but I had a deadline for a small demoscene compo so I was pretty short on time. I finished it just minutes before I had to catch the bus to the event. :)

dpixel (Level 9 Vice President) @ 2/15/2010 21:37

I have 2 thoughts here.

1.  Obviously a lot of skilled pixeling work went into this and should definately should be let in.  Your own style went into this and it shows.  This is totally pixel art!  Great job!

2. As far as the trace.  It is pretty close and seeing your other work, I know you could have easily put more of your own lines in this and would most likely look even better than the original.  Such as shape of the hood, folds in the fabric, and even the face.

wenruto (Level 5 Killer Klown) @ 2/15/2010 21:29

That's Just Effin Awesome Love The Details ON the Coat

slym (Level 8 Rear Admiral) @ 2/15/2010 21:06

I love your style :)

Manupix (Level 11 Godzilla) @ 2/15/2010 20:54


Whichever way it's done, the statement 'every single pixel in it is carefully placed by hand by hard work' is visibly the exact truth. There isn't the slightest suspicious pixel cluster. I just did a quick color-reduce of the ref: it looks nothing like that.

And all that cloth texture isn't even there in the ref.


Nothing ever falls down into nice clean boxes. There will always be a line, and someone to cross it.

If the art you have to do is borderline then so be it, just make it as good as this. Where you get to show it is not that important.


Edit: wrote this before reading your answer to The BOB. No change made.

Frost (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 2/15/2010 20:38

The B.O.B, and others:

The method I used is pretty similiar to using layers. I Reduced the colors in the original picture to 32 or 64 colors (I really can't remember at the moment) And moved those colors to the end of the palette range. Then I made two color ramps in the beginning of the palette so I would not mix up the original colors with my own. After that I startet to pixel over the original just like you would do if you use layers (DeluxePaint don't support layers). My RGB-monitor I use with my Amiga is on the brink of death and have really crappy colors and contrast so I moved on to grafx2 on my PC and continued my work. After a while and some work i removed all the colors from the original picture by blackening them out entirely from the palette and continued pixeling. I added details and such in the process so that the final result would not be just a copy.

So, this is really not a direct photo reduce because it is not a color reduction of any kind (except that i had to reduce the number of colors to cram it in to Deluxe Paint that supports a maximum of 256 colors). I would rather call it a photo repixel.

A couple of weeks ago i discussed this "tracing" topic with a person and his oppinion was that this method is pretty similiar to using a grid to transfer the image to pixel media. It's just that this method is more convinient than printing a picture, drawing a grid and then repixel the picture using a grid.

One question I have is, if I hade shot the photo myself had that been less taboo than if I use another persons photography as reference? If yes, then why?

This is just a method of getting proportions and lightning as accurately as possible amongst many more or less convinient methods.

I consciously used this borderland method to raise the question what methods you here at pixeljoint (and also in the demo-art-scene) think is OK. It's not a color reducion with manual corrections like helms piece (www.pixeljoint.com/pixelart/50204.htm), and it's not entirely my own work (neither is using other peoples line art). Neither am I breaking the submission rules, and I read them thoroughly just to make sure. I have linked to my reference so that you could check it out by yourself (as stated in the rules).


So, where do you draw the line when it is OK to use a reference or onother persons work, inluding stock photography, line art, stencils, ideas or whatever, as reference?

I think the word 'taboo' fits pretty well in this context because sometimes it seems that some peoples beliefs in what is wrong and what's not almost is religiously anal.

 I hope you get my point.


And yes, I seriously lack skills in writing english so I'm having some troubles formulating my thoughts. :P


edit: minor corrections

The B.O.B. (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 2/15/2010 19:58

Ahh yes. This conversation. Really, drawing something on your own, than altering it to fit your medium is always completely fine. However, if this is a direct photograph reduce, than that kinda' draws the line. You mentioned tracing, which would be fine if you drew it from scratch. But if this is indeed a reduced photograph, and touched up, than in my opinion, I wouldn't let this in...ever.

If you truly want this in the gallery, than please specify exactly how this piece came about. Also, we'll leave this in the public queue for a bit, for other user's input as well...

RollerKingdom (Level 7 Mass Murderer) @ 2/15/2010 19:25

This looks awesome :D the dithering style and detail is amazing

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monk electric wizard amiga deluxe paint grafx2, Electric Wizard avatars, Electric Wizard icons, Electric Wizard pixel art, Electric Wizard forum avatars, Electric Wizard AOL Buddy Icons

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