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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Wow, neat stuff. I should post my sprite work here too. I did some sprites for the Kings Quest 3 vga remake, although they accidentally used my WIP ones :oops:. I also did some sprites for an N64 to SNES Zelda game, but the project was cancelled. Like tokumaru I do not rip graphics. I looked at the official art and drew sprites based on them.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:15 pm 
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Great stuff, Bregalad! I haven't seen that desert level pic before; it looks really cool. Each time I see a screen shot of your game, I really want to play it. It looks like it has a rather unique style of gameplay, so I'm really interested in trying it out. Keep up the good work :).

Also, I'd just like to mention that your Nintendoization of Lucia riding the dragon is seriously almost exactly like the picture. I remember you told me you redrew the picture by hand instead of just converting the scan, am I correct? If that's the case, it's incredible how close this looks to the original.

Also, if you want to know how to easily remove white, use Adobe Photoshop. With that, you can use the eyedropper tool to sample a color from the picture, and then you can go into the "Select" menu, and click on "Color Range". Then in the window that pops up, you can select "Sampled Colors", which will basically specify that you want to select all pixels matching whatever color you selected (in your case, it would be white). You can also adjust the sensitivity, so that for scans, it will select more than just one exact color value, but colors similar to what you selected. If you turn the sensitivity too high though, you'll select more than you want to. So just adjust the sensitivity so that it selects all the white in the background, and then hit "OK". If you followed these steps after selecting a white pixel on one of your pictures, all of the white background should be selected, and then you can hit Delete to get rid of it all. However, in this case you would want to have a black layer underneath the picture so that when you delete the white, there is something to appear in its place.

Also something I like to do in the case of "keying" out the background in pictures is do what I said, but after you delete the white, make the background a very odd, vibrant shade of green. There will probably be a few white pixels around the edge of whatever you're trying to isolate on the image, so in that case I go in by hand and make them that very same shade of odd green as the background. Then once that's all done, I can select all of the green with almost no sensitivity for color selection, and delete -exactly- what I want removed.

Sorry if that's confusing; I guess it would make more sense if you saw the process yourself...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:29 am 
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Well thank you, yes the desert is new (altough it was planned for a long time). I don't want to reveal TOO much things else nobody is going to be impressed when it will eventually be released.

I drawed and "nintendoized" that dragon some 4 years and a half ago. I think I did a great work tough because I didn't have to retouch it or anything. Yes I didn't use any automated tools to do the "conversion". The reason both are alike is that because it took me a couple of tries to get the real drawing right, so I got the idea how to do it and was able to redo the same on the computer. Altough the aspect ratio is a bit squarer and the wings are a bit shorter, due to that 127 tiles limit (because 128 others were already reserved and I need a blank one).

Same happens with enemy sprites, I almost always draw them on real paper before pixelizing them, altough they don't always ends up alike, but it don't matter if the pixel version looks good. And same happens to music, I usually play in on my real piano before entering it into the computer, even if it sometimes ends up very altered, etc....

About the white borders, I tried removing them in GIMP, but it always ends up looking bad and blacking out some highlighted areas in the drawing itself I don't want to black out (eyes, feet, etc...). I think the only solution is to leave it as-it or do it manually (which would take terribly long).

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:42 am 
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Location: Potsdam, Germany
There isn't a whole lot to show off, but here's some pixel work of mine:
Image Image Image Image

More available here: http://pixeljoint.com/p/3422.htm?pg=1&sec=icons


A screenshot of the game I'm working on (sorry for the numbers, ignore them):
Image

I got myself a graphics tablet recently and have since been working on concept art.. kind of:
Image
Image

Anyway, the tablet was an excellent investment. I actually draw better with it than I would do using pencil and paper, probably because my lines are never quite right and I need to erase a lot (which is easy with a tablet, no holes in my LCD so far!). :)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:17 am 
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Oh cool, another person who visits PixelJoint! :) I posted my stuff in the forums there years ago, I still go back to browse sometimes.

I love the Mario with super long moustache and beard.

I also got a tablet semi-recently, that was how I made the first two drawings in my post. They are really great to draw with, even for pixel art.

I just made this, which one is scariest and/or which do you like best?

Image

(defined eyes / pinpoint eyes / teeth visible / eyes close in roar)

EDIT: I made his head rounder and changed the way his spine things lay down:

Image


Last edited by UncleSporky on Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:54 pm 
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UncleSporky wrote:
I just made this, which one is scariest and/or which do you like best?


Blue is a calming color to me so non of them look scary to me, but the orange ones kinda make me think of fire. I would say the third orange one looks the "scariest". The fourth one looks a bit cute with his eyes closed on the roar. The first two look cute when their mouths close. The teeth being visible with the mouth closed and the eyes still staring while roaring make the 3rd one look the most dangerous/aggressive. Although the pinpoint eyes seem to add a creepy aspect to the second one. I guess my favorite one would also have to be the third one as he seems to have the most detail :P


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:18 pm 
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UncleSporky wrote:
Oh cool, another person who visits PixelJoint! :) I posted my stuff in the forums there years ago, I still go back to browse sometimes.

Yeah, same here. Was there at the very beginning after the old Pixelation forums went down, but went into lurking mode after a year or so.

UncleSporky wrote:
which one is scariest and/or which do you like best?

I like your edit most minus the teeth in the first frame which look somewhat out of place to me, especially how they "connect" in the animation. The animation of the spine things looks really good now.

Maybe the transition from frame 1 to frame 3 should be a little faster. Also, add some screen shaking if you want to make the roar even more fearsome. Well, no, that would be a little too much unless it's a boss enemy, but it might be possible to have parts of the body tremble/flicker or something... I guess it would be difficult to pull this effect off on a small sprite like this, though.

A quick just-for-fun edit:
Image


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:35 pm 
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I hung out at the Pixelation forums too, I almost think I remember seeing you there. Did you post a lot? I mostly lurked.

Also your edit looks awesome which is a good thing because that's exactly what I was planning to do with it in-game. :) I just wanted to show the basic frames for now.

You don't like how the teeth connect? I don't know what you mean. Which frame shows the problem?

It's tough, I could go either way on the teeth in the standing frame. Without teeth he looks more alien and mysterious, with teeth he looks more brutish. (With teeth showing, they're supposed to be his top fangs, and the "mouth line" is invisible...but they could also look like they're jutting upward from a lower mouth...)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:14 pm 
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I suck at explaining this, but I'll try anyway: For some reason my brain thinks the teeth in the first frame and those in the second frame aren't the same, but instead it links them to the lower fangs in the third frame.
Also, in the first frame I feel they should have the dark blue color of the mouth around them like in the second and third frames.

Haha, that explanation is still awkward. Let me make another edit instead:
Image

I changed frame 1 and 2.
Anyway, don't mind me too much, I just love nitpicking. :)


UncleSporky wrote:
...but they (the teeth) could also look like they're jutting upward from a lower mouth...

Oh yeah, that's what I meant. Missed it the first time I read your post.

EDIT:
UncleSporky wrote:
I hung out at the Pixelation forums too, I almost think I remember seeing you there. Did you post a lot? I mostly lurked.

Not a lot, but I was somewhat active for a few months. Under what alias did you post on the forums?


Last edited by miau on Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:26 pm 
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miau wrote:
I suck at explaining this, but I'll try anyway: For some reason my brain thinks the teeth in the first frame and those in the second frame aren't the same, but instead it links them to the lower fangs in the third frame.
Also, in the first frame I feel they should have the dark blue color of the mouth around them like in the second and third frames.

Haha, that explanation is still awkward. Let me make another edit instead:
Image

I changed frame 1 and 2.
Anyway, don't mind me too much, I just love nitpicking. :)


UncleSporky wrote:
...but they (the teeth) could also look like they're jutting upward from a lower mouth...

Oh yeah, that's what I meant. Missed it the first time I read your post.


That edit looks great. He definitely looks looks brutish in it.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:19 am 
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It's unfortunate nobody has made a graphics editor for making full screen graphics for the NES. I'm thinking something similar to the C64 graphics editor called "Project One" would be cool, I uploaded it here so you can take a look: http://thefox.aspekt.fi/Project1_V0.5.zip

Here's a quote from Project One help file:
Quote:
"P1's main goal is to give a tool into the hand of c64 artists that is as easy and fun to use, while boosting productivity."

I feel like giving artists a tool that enforces the NES limitations would encourage more people to take a shot at it.

The editor could have configurable attribute area (16x16 / 16x8 / 16x4 / 8x8 [MMC5]) and tile allocation settings (mid-screen bank switched or limited to 256), support for sprites (8x8 / 8x16), interlacing (changing the displayed picture every frame to simulate higher resolution), export to iNES ROM or data files for use in games/demos. Also an import feature (from hi-res graphics) could be done similar to Project One, although it's pretty hard to get good results thanks to the attribute area restrictions.

Personally I like the UI in Project One so I think taking the best parts out of it would be a good start for a NES editor.

What do you guys think? Any ideas?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:33 am 
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I agree that Project One really rocks and I've had fun converting images to it.
However, keep in mind by default it relies on a technique called FLI that changes the attributes each lines, at the price of a crop bar on the left side (if I remember well). But you can change it to do it every 2, 4 or 8 lines. If you do it every 8 lines only then it becomes an image the C64 can display as-it without crazy timed code doing constant registers update (I remember I coded software to display such images, but unfortunately couldn't test it on my C64 :( )
However you'll notice the quality of the resulting picure is significantly taken down that way.

The NES can't do something like FLI, Memblers tried doing something similar called FAU, but I think it didn't work (at leat not well).

Another big difference is that the NES has no bitmap mode. If the resulting image exceed the maximum of 256 tiles, you can't display it, I can't think of a way to do a trick that could display it with lower quality (altough there may be one). The closest you can come of it is to use 4 banks of 256 tiles, but then you'll need raster code to display the image anyways.

So yeah I agree it would be great if something was available, but would probably not be that much practical to use in games.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:57 am 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
thefox wrote:
It's unfortunate nobody has made a graphics editor for making full screen graphics for the NES.

You're looking for something called a "nametable editor". They exist. Steps are as follows:
  1. Draw 256x240 pixel image in 4-level grayscale
  2. Use a BMP to CHR converter
  3. Use CHARlie or chropt to combine duplicate tiles and spit out the first 960 bytes of a nametable
  4. Use NSA, 8name, or another nametable editor to add attributes

But I'm not aware of any nametable editor that supports two separate attribute tables for 16x8 attribute spaces, which are the smallest you can reasonably get without MMC5.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:30 pm 
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tepples wrote:
thefox wrote:
It's unfortunate nobody has made a graphics editor for making full screen graphics for the NES.

You're looking for something called a "nametable editor". They exist.

That's like saying because hex editors exist and you can do NES games with them assemblers and text editors are useless. My point EXACTLY was to get rid of all those steps and to combine it all to a single, easy to use tool. Let me quote again:
Quote:
"P1's main goal is to give a tool into the hand of c64 artists that is as easy and fun to use, while boosting productivity."

I doubt there would be nearly as much and as high quality music for NES if FamiTracker/NerdTracker didn't exist and everybody would have to learn MML.

Btw, I'm not looking for anything myself. I want to give others a tool that enables them to create good graphics. I want to see what NES is capable of.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:36 pm 
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miau wrote:
I suck at explaining this, but I'll try anyway: For some reason my brain thinks the teeth in the first frame and those in the second frame aren't the same, but instead it links them to the lower fangs in the third frame.
Also, in the first frame I feel they should have the dark blue color of the mouth around them like in the second and third frames.

Haha, that explanation is still awkward. Let me make another edit instead:
Image

I changed frame 1 and 2.
Anyway, don't mind me too much, I just love nitpicking. :)


UncleSporky wrote:
...but they (the teeth) could also look like they're jutting upward from a lower mouth...

Oh yeah, that's what I meant. Missed it the first time I read your post.

I do like it better with the dark blue to show an overbite, but the second frame looks pretty awkward to me outside of an animation. If it has the more defined mouth I could potentially use it outside of the full roar.

And I didn't notice before that you opened his mouth wider! Now I have to use an extra tile, geez... :)

What do you think of him with various amounts of highlighting? It makes his eyes and teeth stand out less but it becomes a more interesting sprite overall, I think...or should I just not mess with a good thing?
Image
I suppose it's a matter of art style and creature design (does he have scaly skin?), but he's already got a lot of shadowy parts so I may as well highlight where I can as well.

Also I mean no offense but your character doesn't look much like the art to me. This is what I see:

Image

:P

miau wrote:
UncleSporky wrote:
I hung out at the Pixelation forums too, I almost think I remember seeing you there. Did you post a lot? I mostly lurked.

Not a lot, but I was somewhat active for a few months. Under what alias did you post on the forums?

Same name. I just think I remember your cat avatar, if you used it at that time.

thefox wrote:
tepples wrote:
thefox wrote:
It's unfortunate nobody has made a graphics editor for making full screen graphics for the NES.

You're looking for something called a "nametable editor". They exist.

That's like saying because hex editors exist and you can do NES games with them assemblers and text editors are useless. My point EXACTLY was to get rid of all those steps and to combine it all to a single, easy to use tool. Let me quote again:
Quote:
"P1's main goal is to give a tool into the hand of c64 artists that is as easy and fun to use, while boosting productivity."

I doubt there would be nearly as much and as high quality music for NES if FamiTracker/NerdTracker didn't exist and everybody would have to learn MML.

Btw, I'm not looking for anything myself. I want to give others a tool that enables them to create good graphics. I want to see what NES is capable of.

I knew what you meant and I think it's a great idea. It's the sort of thing that pixel artists on forums look for to do retro graphics when they feel inclined. Most people just don't understand the limitations, since the NES is so inclined towards games (repetitive graphics and tiny moving sprites) rather than artwork.

Bregalad wrote:
Well now I've eventually go trough an update of my website (I eventually fixed terrible misspelling and removed some really outdated info) and take up to date pics of the game I'm developing, with NTSC filter and manually corrected to normal aspect ratio.

http://jonathan.microclub.ch/rainbow/en/drggallery.html

I meant to comment on this earlier, I really like your logo and the background graphics look nice, especially the desert one. And you did convert that drawing very well, I wouldn't guess that it was edited at all to fit within 8x8 tiles.


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