Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

A place for your artistic side. Discuss techniques and tools for pixel art on the NES, GBC, or similar platforms.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
SpencerKR
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:54 pm

Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by SpencerKR » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:21 pm

Hi all. By background is in music, sound, and programming. I don't have much experience making visual art.

It would be great to have some constructive feedback on how my first attempt at pixel art is going. I want to make sure that what I'm going for reads as intended, and that I'm not fooling myself.
nesCyberScreenCap1.PNG
nesCharCap1.PNG
nesCharCap1.PNG (481 Bytes) Viewed 1285 times
nesCharCap2.PNG
nesCharCap2.PNG (614 Bytes) Viewed 1285 times
Here's a link to a video where you can see the actual animation: https://twitter.com/WeaselNoises/status ... 6499318784

Thanks!
Last edited by SpencerKR on Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
dougeff
Posts: 2735
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 7:17 pm
Location: DIGDUG
Contact:

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by dougeff » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:02 pm

Looks fine, except I would go with brighter tones for the character. The black clothes, for example, kind of blend in with the background.

Consider making the hero bigger. 8 pixels wide and you will end up with mostly lousy graphics. Like Lode Runner.
nesdoug.com -- blog/tutorial on programming for the NES

User avatar
SpencerKR
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:54 pm

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by SpencerKR » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:04 pm

Thanks! I think in the back of my head I knew the black clothes weren't working, but I needed to hear someone say it

calima
Posts: 1186
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:16 am

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by calima » Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:24 am

That floor needs to be completely replaced, and your hero looks like a punk Spurdo. Maybe the hero was intended to be that...

User avatar
SpencerKR
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:54 pm

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by SpencerKR » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:24 am

calima wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:24 am
That floor needs to be completely replaced
What is it about the floor that's not working for you

calima
Posts: 1186
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:16 am

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by calima » Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:23 am

It's visually very noisy, distracting, and hard on the eyes.

User avatar
Alp
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:37 am

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by Alp » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:59 am

SpencerKR wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:21 pm
I want to make sure that what I'm going for reads as intended, and that I'm not fooling myself.
Looks like an alleyway, with a punk character?

My only critique to give, is that the colors are a bit bland. I'd suggestion reading up on color theory a bit.

Here's a nice diagram, that shows the general idea.
Image

I scribbled out some quick tiles based on your mockup, and picked some colors with better contrast.
Image

(In this case, I jumped from the secondary color green, down to purple, for the ground, and from secondary green to primary blue & yellow for the shadows and highlights on the wall. This stuff comes naturally, once you've practiced it, for a bit.)

User avatar
SpencerKR
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:54 pm

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by SpencerKR » Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:14 am

Thank you so much for this very thorough and actionable feedback! Seeing your mockup really helps explain the general dullness. And thanks also for your assessment of the location; I'm going for interior of a bar so clearly that needs some work, but you're spot on that it's a punk character. I'm excited to try the more vivid floor. Thanks!

User avatar
SpencerKR
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:54 pm

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by SpencerKR » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:35 pm

Just to show I'm listening, here's my incorporation of the feedback so far. I've tried to build more contrast into the overall color scheme. I haven't thrown out the bricks but I'm gonna save them for exteriors. I've decided to go really on the nose that you're in a bar since that wasn't reading, and I am hoping the character's costume will let them be at least visible against most backgrounds

(except the floor pattern -- I like the floor, sorry :p )
Attachments
nesScreenCap2.PNG

mkwong98
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 9:01 pm

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by mkwong98 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:58 pm

The floor pattern is getting smaller the higher up on the screen to mimic looking into distance, but the character and other objects in the background do not get smaller, so the whole picture looks odd.

calima
Posts: 1186
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:16 am

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by calima » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:01 am

Plus the floor still pokes eyes, color changes do not help that.

User avatar
Bregalad
Posts: 7951
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by Bregalad » Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:30 am

For a 3D effect on the floor, the squares should be changed into trapezoids. Also some anti-aliasing on the farther part would help.

The sprite has very weird colours and is not outlined properly. You could go for an early-NES style without outlines, but this only works well with mostly bright colours on a mostly dark background.

That being said, the brick wall looks fine.
Useless, lumbering half-wits don't scare us.

User avatar
SpencerKR
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:54 pm

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by SpencerKR » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:47 am

Hi all. Thanks for continuing to offer your feedback. I'm posting to let you know that, as far as this specific layout goes, I've gotten what I needed. My goal was never to make the art great or even good but to make it readable, because that's where my abilities are at. Good will have to come later, if at all. I'm going to move on to the next layout for now. While the character might stick around for a larger game, the room certainly won't, it will get iterated on or maybe even cut. So thank you all for helping me move on to that iteration.

User avatar
SpencerKR
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:54 pm

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by SpencerKR » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:31 pm

Someone suggested making the character outlined instead of the Zelda style I was going for, and I was reluctant to do so but I tried it and I have to admit I see the merits and I think this is the direction I'm gonna go in.

Something that tempers my interpretation of the feedback is that since this is a point-and-click adventure, the character doesn't need to "pop" on screen the same way that a character for an action game does, so I'm okay with some blending (see: thimbleweed park) but the neon blue hair should allow the character to be at least identifiable.

I'm not sure what this means for my backgrounds since this style doesn't work so well against a flat black background, I'll keep experimenting though. Thanks!
nesCharCap6.PNG
nesCharCap6.PNG (801 Bytes) Viewed 696 times
nesCharCap5.PNG
nesCharCap5.PNG (1.27 KiB) Viewed 696 times

User avatar
Bregalad
Posts: 7951
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland

Re: Looking for frank feedback on my first pixel art

Post by Bregalad » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:07 pm

SpencerKR wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:31 pm
Someone suggested making the character outlined instead of the Zelda style I was going for, and I was reluctant to do so but I tried it and I have to admit I see the merits and I think this is the direction I'm gonna go in.
I didn't say you must use outlines, what I mean is that if you go for the old-NES style without outlines, like Zelda, you should do it properly and avoid some caveat. I am not an expert of this style so I can't say much.

You need to be very careful with the colours you pick, they should be of different luminosity, and probably not exceed one dark color. I'd avoid using black colour completely when going for this style. I'd go for one dark colour, one middle and one light colour. For example link's sprite has dark brown, green, and light brown/skin colour. Your sprite don't have this, it has black, a very dark colour and a very bright colour.

Most likely the eyes should be drawn with the darkest colours, except if you intend your character to look like an android that shoots laser with the eyes. The retina of an eye is typically so small it disapears on a character's sprite, unless you use super-deformed style which you don't here.
Last edited by Bregalad on Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Useless, lumbering half-wits don't scare us.

Post Reply