Page 2 of 2

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:21 pm
by Sogona
dougeff wrote:
feedback on the graphics
My main issue, with the sprites, is, they aren't very colorful.
Yeah, the main character does only use one palette (black outline, caucasian skin, and brown for the hair and pants), but the third palette is currently being used for powerups, weapons, things being dropped by the enemy, etc. And I want to be able to have the other 2 palettes reserved mainly for enemies so that there can be some variety of things to kill on the screen. Although the player's skin and the color of the sand are tbe same ($37), I feel like the outline does a pretty good job of making him stand out.
forest trees
I'm more concerned with the shape of the water. Entirely square edges. Try to have at least 1 shared color between different palettes...like the universal background color (3f00), and use that to round the corners a bit.

There is a joke in the Discworld 2 game, where he makes fun of a movie set backdrop that was "apparently painted without reference material". Look at real trees. Research how other games handled trees. (Not Zelda 2...its trees are terrible).
The universal background color for the beach is $37, so there can be 3 different colors of sand to give it a more grainy look. In the forest/jungle it's $17 (ignore the sand tiles at the bottom of the second screen, they should be dirt.) Changing the UBC to blue I feel I could work around it and still make the sand (and the trunks of the palm trees, which share the same palette) look good, but for the palms (which has the palette $37,$1A,$29,$17), this wouldn't work because all three of the colors are already used (plus the background color to make it look like it's on sand.)

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:18 pm
by tokumaru
dougeff wrote:There is a joke in the Discworld 2 game, where he makes fun of a movie set backdrop that was "apparently painted without reference material". Look at real trees. Research how other games handled trees.
This is good advice. Even if you're doing heavily stylized graphics, looking at good reference pictures will help you choose what to emphasize/distort/replace/maintain.
Sogona wrote:Yeah, the main character does only use one palette (black outline, caucasian skin, and brown for the hair and pants)
I can think of very few cases where NES sprites turned out good when using black outlines and a single palette, and if you think about it, wasting 33% of the colors just on outlines doesn't sound very sensible.

I personally don't like sprite outlines, but if you really must have them, maybe it would be better to use a dark shade of an actual color that you can reuse. You could easily use the same dark brown for outlines, pants and hair, freeing one slot for a more interesting color. You can highlight the brown areas using a light shade so that they don't look flat. Just an idea.

There's something weird about the animation too, because the guy projects his body forward when attacking down but not when attacking right or up. These are supposed to be different views of the same movement, so they should match.

This is actually another good opportunity to use reference material. Watch videos/animations of sword fights, or even try to do these movements yourself. When people make a stabbing movement, they usually put one foot forward, for balance. Your character is currently bending his knees or doing nothing with his legs (depending from where you're looking), so that's definitely something that can be improved.

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:38 pm
by Gilbert
If this wasn't mentioned already, one thing that bothered me much is the inconsistency on the size of his arms in the side views.
It's most noticeable in the walking animation, that his arm alters between really thick and really thin. Also, in the attack animation the arm changes from a muscular one to a thin one when it is stretched out.
I know it may be difficult to work with the low resolution, but it's just too noticeable to me, so I'd recommend some tweaking.

Considering that pixels are a bit 'fat' when the Famicom screen is viewed on a authentic NTSC screen (pixel aspect ratio is 8:7, according to the wiki), it could look even worse on a real 4:3 TV (and horrible if someone just stretched the display on a 16:9 wide screen monitor).

Awwwwww! The forums said I was logged out nearly every time I tried to submit the reply, and I had to repeatly re-login until it worked.

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:46 pm
by tokumaru
Gilbert wrote:(pixel aspect ratio is 8:3, according to the wiki)
You mean 8:7, right?

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:48 pm
by Gilbert
It's actually fixed when you're reading my post. :roll:

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:32 am
by dougeff
This is the scene in Discworld 2, if anyone is terribly curious....

https://youtu.be/ighVB4DBqy0

At exactly 3:38:28 is when he looks at the 'set' and comments about 'painted without reference material'

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:04 am
by M_Tee
Color contrast is important when designing a character and the stages. Right now, your character is pale yellow and medium brown... Of the three colors shown in your backgrounds, which the player will constantly be in front of, one is primarily pale yellow. The other is primarily light brown. Ever wonder why "soldiers" dressed in bright blues and reds in overhead shooters like Ikari Warriors (instead of the greens and browns actual soldiers wear for camouflage)?

As for the sprite: consistency between angles, consistency between frames, and appropriate, realistic movement for actions such as walking, attacking, etc. all need to be focused on.

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:52 am
by Sogona
Sorry for taking so long to get back with this.

I finally decided that there was no way to have the player's animation look good when attacking downward and still have the weapon spawned below the hitbox, so I decided to make the hitbox only 15x15 pixels when the player is in that respective state and direction. This does present the issue of the weapon being hard to see, since now there's sprite flicker. I guess I could tweak the engine slightly to draw object 1 (hard-coded to be the player's weapon) first, and then objects 0 and 2-15. Or, since I'm using CHR-RAM, I could dynamically load the sprite of the player's leg drawn around the weapon depending on the weapon being used. I'll see.

I've done numerous small tweaks to the graphics and frames of animation. The frames for when he's standing are different, so that when he attacks it looks more like he's lunging. I'm still not fully satisfied when he's attacking up and down, as the legs still look kinda weird and ambiguous for what he's supposed to be doing. But here's how everything looks right now:
facings_updated.png
facings_updated.png (544 Bytes) Viewed 3666 times
walkings_updated.gif
walkings_updated.gif (1.23 KiB) Viewed 3666 times
attackings_updated.gif
attackings_updated.gif (2.98 KiB) Viewed 3666 times
tokumaru wrote: I can think of very few cases where NES sprites turned out good when using black outlines and a single palette, and if you think about it, wasting 33% of the colors just on outlines doesn't sound very sensible.

I personally don't like sprite outlines, but if you really must have them, maybe it would be better to use a dark shade of an actual color that you can reuse. You could easily use the same dark brown for outlines, pants and hair, freeing one slot for a more interesting color. You can highlight the brown areas using a light shade so that they don't look flat. Just an idea.
Something like this, perhaps?
new_palette.png
new_palette.png (308 Bytes) Viewed 3666 times
I more or less need to use an outline, since a fair part of what I plan to be the game will take place on an island with sand, which is the same color as the players skin, and they'll blend together and make it hard to tell what's going on.

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:30 am
by Dwedit
Don't make the sand the exact same color as the sprites if possible, otherwise it just looks like monochrome graphics on top of a single color.

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:37 am
by Sogona
Dwedit wrote:Don't make the sand the exact same color as the sprites if possible, otherwise it just looks like monochrome graphics on top of a single color.
I was afraid that $38 would look too green for sand, but I tried it out and it looks okay in FCEUX and Nestopia. My powerpak isn't working for some reason, though, so as of right now I can't test it on the real thing.

Having a UBC of $38 with colors $27, $17 and $30 give the sand a grainy look and help the player pop out better.
island-3.png
island-3.png (2.06 KiB) Viewed 3603 times

Re: First time ever trying to do graphics on the NES

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:23 pm
by Myask
It'll also double as a water tile with another palette, as Zelda II did.

might want to tuck his shirt in, it looks like his pants are instead chaps and don't cover his pelvis.