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Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=14750
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Author:  Drag [ Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

It's not quite pillow shading, since the light does follow a 3d figure in each of those sprites. Instead, it's polished-chrome-on-a-sunny-day shading. :P

Author:  DragonDePlatino [ Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

Heh. That's a good way to put it.

Image
No shading, cell shading, pillow shading, polished-chrome-on-a-sunny-day shading

A bit off-topic, but I actually really like the lattermost kind of shading. I used to do cell shading but the polished chrome has a nice retro look without feeling like a cop-out. Using a 9-bit RGB palette like the Atari ST helps complete the look by forcing your highlights to be super-bright and oversaturated. :D

Author:  Alp [ Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

DragonDePlatino wrote:
Heh. That's a good way to put it.

Image
No shading, cell shading, pillow shading, polished-chrome-on-a-sunny-day shading

A bit off-topic, but I actually really like the lattermost kind of shading. I used to do cell shading but the polished chrome has a nice retro look without feeling like a cop-out. Using a 9-bit RGB palette like the Atari ST helps complete the look by forcing your highlights to be super-bright and oversaturated. :D

To a pixel-art veteran, even that sphere is considered "moderately pillow-shaded". :P

If you want a good example of low-color shading, go check out some pixel works from the Bitmap Brothers. They have some of the best use of colors, I've ever seen!

Author:  DragonDePlatino [ Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

That's debatable...

But yes, the Bitmap Brothers were great. I loved their work in Chaos Engine. It feels very ahead of its time for a 1993 game. Almost like a mockup you'd see today on PixelJoint.

Author:  koitsu [ Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

Drag wrote:
Instead, it's polished-chrome-on-a-sunny-day shading. :P

Several colleagues and myself refer to this as "Amiga syndrome", or if we're not sure, bare minimum, "the game was certainly made by Europeans". For whatever reason, excessive gradients and that shiny, "chrome" look are extremely prevalent in lots of European games during the 16-bit era. It was just an art style that was "in" at the time.

Author:  Alp [ Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

DragonDePlatino wrote:
That's debatable...

The effect I was thinking of, is apparently called "color banding" by the pixel art communities. It's another lesser-form of pillow shading.

Author:  DragonDePlatino [ Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

Ah. I see what you mean in that case, Alp. The issue is that each layer of shading is exactly 2 pixels thick. I'll keep that mind in the future.

Author:  M_Tee [ Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

Arne has a page that addresses it well: https://androidarts.com/pixtut/pixelart.htm

Author:  Espozo [ Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

M_Tee wrote:
Arne has a page that addresses it well: https://androidarts.com/pixtut/pixelart.htm

Call me an asshole, but I don't really like any of that. The after looks better though, of course. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I've seen 100x worse.

Anyway, I thought I'd try and make my own sphere that is high color, but doesn't use "color banding" or whatever. I hate full black outlines, so I changed that, but that's a personal thing.

Attachment:
Spheres.png
Spheres.png [ 351 Bytes | Viewed 1870 times ]

(I probably could have made mine look better, like if I darkened the darkest color to separate it, but I decided I'd keep all the same colors. Trying to make the middle color fit right was a pain.)

If you ask me, European pixel art looks like you had pillow shading to where every color is the darker one in a smaller size, but instead of being dead center in the middle of the object, it's just been translated across the x and y axis slightly. it's like they have to have it where the side of everything is just about the full gradient, in that you'll never see white paired next to black unless the object was a Zebra. If you ask me, it's like the old sphere where just about every shade is a perfect circle, (the same as the whole thing except smaller) when I don't think it makes sense to be that way. That was actually an excellent demonstration, DragonDePlatino.

And about the lighting being directional in the previous pictures, it is, but only to a certain extent (there emphasize displaying every color in the gradient more, like I said earlier) and the lighting doesn't even make sense it terms of what direction it's coming from. (The second picture can't seem to make up its mind whether the light is coming from the left or right.)

And no, I'm not a perfect pixel artist. :roll:

Author:  M_Tee [ Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

I agree that if the color count starts getting high then varying outline colors can be helpful as well. Rust Bucket from nitrome is a good, clear example of this:
Image

The shading is clear, and clearly represents the form. In the Arne example, despite the personal appeal of its style, the final solution undeniably most clearly represents the form, by giving clear details without distractions:
Image

...but that form's not a sphere, so what's a better way to shade a sphere? One of the things I've noticed from all of the spheres posted here (and is also evident in the Euro 'toon characters posted) is the lack of reflected light:
Image

From your post history, Espozo, it seems that the Metal Slug style may be your most preferred style? If so, I wouldn't blame you, it's very well done. So, let's look at how those artists handled a sphere:
Image
Source

7 colors + 1 transparent, What makes it successful:
* Bands vary in thickness in relation to each other
* Bands vary in thickness in relation to themselves (tapered)
* Reflected light on opposite side from light source
* Highlight is very minimal (a single pixel)
* Saturation and value contrast are tightly keyed, and clearly represent the reflectiveness of the material of the orb.

All in all, the two things that make the Metal Slug style so effective are:

1) complete control over saturation, which is typically the number one giveaway of programmers' art on systems with palettes high enough that saturation differences are an actual option. You can tell someone there had formal training. (This is also the most evident on the low-quality Metal Slug "knockoffs" that occasionally flood the android market)
2) shading that clearly conveys the textures and details of what's being represented

Anyway, the specific topic of discussion from the title seems to have run its course, it may be beneficial to rename the thread to broaden its topic of discussion to pixel art styles in games. There are a lot of interesting points to discuss on the evolution of styles across each system's history, regional differences, etc.

Author:  Drag [ Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

Stylistically speaking, I like the window-shaped shine better than the simple point shine. :P

Attachments:
pottedplant.png
pottedplant.png [ 563 Bytes | Viewed 1824 times ]

Author:  M_Tee [ Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

That's really well done, actually. The window highlight is cute, gives information about the environment. The rim lighting on the right implies a secondary light source, likely internal lighting. Moreover, the exact shape of the darker shade gives very specific info about the shape of the vase. I frequently use a similar method for leaves as well.

Author:  Nicole [ Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

tepples wrote:
I thought you or someone else claimed this before, which inspired me to start my collection.

Have you seen the Ultimate Oldschool PC Font Pack? There's a number of interesting 8x8 fonts in there.

Author:  Drag [ Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character appearance in Tennis, Soccer, and Kung Fu

tepples wrote:
Why do Soccer, Tennis, Baseball, and Kung Fu share an art style that other NES launch games don't? Did they share artists?


This might be old-hat by now, but something recently came up that may explain this phenomenon.

Quote:
Donkey Kong was released for the arcade in 1981, but came out on the Famicom, the Japanese version of the NES, in 1983. Miyamoto had nothing to do with this version, he said. “The porting of arcade games to Famicom, we left in the hands of a different team. In order to get the Famicom off to a good start, I was working on the rest of the software lineup.

While only three games were available for Famicom on its launch day, Miyamoto says the team hoped to have about 7 games available in short order. “I personally really wanted there to be a Baseball game, and so I was working on that, as well as games like Tennis and Golf.” These simple sports games aren’t listed in any of Miyamoto’s official “gameographies,” but he says he was all in on their creation: “I was directly in charge of the character design and the game design.

In fact, any game on the Famicom is designed around Miyamoto’s low-level specs: The 8-bit systems could only pull from a palette of 64 possible colors, and Miyamoto helped to hand-pick which colors it would support, he said.
(Emphasis mine)

Most of the games in question had Miyamoto's direction with the gameplay and the character design. That's why they all have similar looking character sprites. It would not be surprising if other developers at the time were consulting him, whether directly or through inspiration or through some kind of documentation he wrote.

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