The cage

The cage

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Pixel Art Details

The cage

Title: The cage
Pixel Artist: ad0xa  (Level 2 Quiet One :: 344 points)
Posted: 3/19/2010 16:49
Statistics:  7 comments    1 faves    0 avatars

This is probably the biggest thing I've ever made. Surely it took over 20 hours to make. But I'm not sure, sins I didn't do all of it at once.

I just love steampunk, so I really wanted to make something with cogwheels. And I'll probably make more stuff with cogwheels too.


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Ninja Crow (Level 3 Private Eye) @ 3/21/2010 16:19

 I was a bit wordy, wasn't I?  Sorry!

I'll be happy to clarify anything that I didn't say very well.

ad0xa (Level 2 Quiet One) @ 3/21/2010 14:58

Thank you sooo much for explaining this stuff to me!

I draw everything in paint when I draw pixelart XD. But maybe I can do this thing in photoshop? There was alot of text and alot of stuff I didn't understand, but I'm quite sure I'll understand if I read it over and over again and test for my self :) So thanks.

Ninja Crow (Level 3 Private Eye) @ 3/21/2010 13:08

Hi ad0xa, and a hearty welcome to the Pixel Joint!

When I clicked this image, I believe I may have blasphemed a deity, such was my surprise: the colours and theme and composition really really stand out!

There is one tiny point of artistic trouble here, though: the floor of the cage seems to be drawn in an orthographic way, and thus a Necker Cube effect is created wherein the back of the cage bottom seems to trade places with the front.  The shading of the cage floor also seems a bit flat.

And on a purely technical front, the way I've come to understand AA, and use it on an intuitive level (since anything harder than that would be too much for me...) is reflected in this example.  The purple line connecting the steps represents the line we'd like to have, but of course our picture resolution is only so good.  You'll notice that some of the empty squares bisected by the purple line, if filled by the black, would still be about 75% full, and those get a colour that is about 75% of the way between the inner and outer colours we wish to blend.  The same is true for the squares bisected halfway, and the ones (final frame) that would only be 25% of a black square placed there.  And thus the gaps in our stairs have been turned into ramps, and you can pretty much do it by eye.

And also, colour count has been mentioned.  I use GIMP, which is very overpowered for pixel art, I know, but I already had it for normal artistic reasons, and with a few easy adaptations (which I can relate if you need) it has become an indispensable tool for me - for it's colour map feature for one.  For example, here is a colour map of your cage picture, sorted by the values of the HSV.  One thing I notice right away is that the entire top row, and most of the second are made of shades that are almost impossible to tell apart.  If these were all reduced to a single dark shade, I'll bet no one could tell, and the picture would feel more unified in its colour space!  The way I would do that, is like in this image, where we see a colour picked in the first column, and a nearly identical colour picked in the second column (chosen by eye) and in the third column we see that redundant second colour turned into a fuchsia (or any stark colour, unused in your image will do).  The result is here, and finally, in this image, I've turned all the fuchsia areas into the first colour (so that the two original colours are now exactly the same) and to my eye at least, the image is artistically identical to the original - just technically improved.

I had never heard of any of this before joining the PJ, so I'm giving a great big thanks to all you guys here, and I hope this info helps, ad0xa (by the way, I've been loving your stuff so far - like that cool unicorn dragon).



ad0xa (Level 2 Quiet One) @ 3/19/2010 20:47

Ah thank you. And I didn't have any reference, just a picture in my head.

DawnBringer (Level 10 Pixel artist) @ 3/19/2010 20:00

AA: Anti-Aliasing - is the technique of smoothing/interpolating edges and color-transitions:

A reference is some other work that was used as inspiration, help or template etc. a photo for example.

Another nice image, but for future pixel-works...know that it's considered good form (at least here at PJ) to use quite few colors (and preferably design a nice palette and use it well). You will rarely see a good piece of art using more than 50 colors here...some of the best only uses 20-30.

Perhaps you should give Grafx2 a try, a nice free paint-program that uses indexed-palettes and is designed for pixelart:

ad0xa (Level 2 Quiet One) @ 3/19/2010 17:44

I'm really a n00b. So I didn't understand much of what you said XD I've just drawn in paint since I was 11. I don't know anything about reference images and "AA". sorry :< But if you would like to explain it for me I'd totally listen.

Robinhood (Level 9 Boss) @ 3/19/2010 17:38

142 colors......  A lot :c

Love the piece, some places are a bit jagged and could use some AA, like the cage, hook, and gear.

THe back bars could be darker too.  Do you have any reference images?

Related & Tags

cogwheel, gear-wheel, steampunk, cage, The cage avatars, The cage icons, The cage pixel art, The cage forum avatars, The cage AOL Buddy Icons

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