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Character Frames
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=9288
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Author:  Amini [ Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Character Frames

I Made A character for An Upcoming Game I might possibly probably not going to make. Image

I also Made A Video on making the Jumping Frames. (Using a lot of megaman)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94a9ZAFCozM&list=UUOdcwytfkFfIp7MB_v9wCAw&index=1&feature=plcp

Also, a deviantart page about this. http://o-amini.deviantart.com/#/d5e1dx8

EDIT: Added Swords, Running frames, Crouching Frames, and Attacking Frames.

Image

Author:  tokumaru [ Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

You know these have way too many colors for the NES, right? Technically, you can make sprites with more than 3 colors by stacking sprites, but when your frames are 25 pixels wide that means using nearly all of the 8 sprites that are allowed to be displayed per scanline just on your main character, leaving nothing for enemies, items and so on.

I'm not too fond of the Mega Man sprites. They were OK for the first game, but then everything else improved with each game while Mega Man remained the same and started to look very dated. He's too flat (because of the lack of shadows and highlights), not very detailed (blobs of blue and cyan form the body), and some animation frames put him in rather weird/distorted positions (giant hand when throwing things, weird legs when getting hurt, etc.). Personally, I wouldn't use him as inspiration for my own sprites.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

If you intend to put these sprites on a real NES game, you have a bit to learn about how NES graphics work.

Sprites are made from 8x8 pixel blocks with a palette of 3 colours. You can have four 3-colour palettes in use at one time. Keep in mind that all sprites on screen need to use these palettes, so it's not usually a good idea to use them all up on your character. If you need to have extra colours on your character, keep the area that uses the second palette group to a minimum. Notice that Mega Man is 3-colours except for his face, which fits neatly inside two 8x8 blocks (his arms are still blue for a reason). His shot uses the same palette as his face. The other two palettes belong to whatever enemies are in the current scene.

Also, don't use your background colour as a hair highlight. The background will show through this, unless your character is always against a white background. You can use a white pixel instead of the background colour, but this is probably a waste of a sprite and palette space.

Another rule that may be important is that taller is preferred to wider on the NES. You can only have 8 sprites on any given horizontal line, or else you have to do something like flickering them on and off to make sure all of them show up at least part of the time.

Also make sure things fit neatly into 8x8 blocks. For instance don't make something 25 pixels wide when it could be 24 (8x3). The 8x8 blocks also don't need to be on a grid. Note how the tank in Blaster Master has a separate body and wheels, letting the wheels roll and stretch out without requiring extra frames of body animation.

A lot of games will use separate sprites with their own palette if the character is using a weapon. For example look at the turtles in TMNT; each of them is only 3 colours, but the weapon is animated separately and has its own palette.

There are probably other nuances, but this is a start.

Author:  Amini [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

tokumaru wrote:
You know these have way too many colors for the NES, right? Technically, you can make sprites with more than 3 colors by stacking sprites, but when your frames are 25 pixels wide that means using nearly all of the 8 sprites that are allowed to be displayed per scanline just on your main character, leaving nothing for enemies, items and so on.

I'm not too fond of the Mega Man sprites. They were OK for the first game, but then everything else improved with each game while Mega Man remained the same and started to look very dated. He's too flat (because of the lack of shadows and highlights), not very detailed (blobs of blue and cyan form the body), and some animation frames put him in rather weird/distorted positions (giant hand when throwing things, weird legs when getting hurt, etc.). Personally, I wouldn't use him as inspiration for my own sprites.


Thanks For all the Advice. I'll try to change the proportions and colors so they fit in the palette.

rainwarrior wrote:
If you intend to put these sprites on a real NES game, you have a bit to learn about how NES graphics work.

Sprites are made from 8x8 pixel blocks with a palette of 3 colours. You can have four 3-colour palettes in use at one time. Keep in mind that all sprites on screen need to use these palettes, so it's not usually a good idea to use them all up on your character. If you need to have extra colours on your character, keep the area that uses the second palette group to a minimum. Notice that Mega Man is 3-colours except for his face, which fits neatly inside two 8x8 blocks (his arms are still blue for a reason). His shot uses the same palette as his face. The other two palettes belong to whatever enemies are in the current scene.

Also, don't use your background colour as a hair highlight. The background will show through this, unless your character is always against a white background. You can use a white pixel instead of the background colour, but this is probably a waste of a sprite and palette space.

Another rule that may be important is that taller is preferred to wider on the NES. You can only have 8 sprites on any given horizontal line, or else you have to do something like flickering them on and off to make sure all of them show up at least part of the time.

Also make sure things fit neatly into 8x8 blocks. For instance don't make something 25 pixels wide when it could be 24 (8x3). The 8x8 blocks also don't need to be on a grid. Note how the tank in Blaster Master has a separate body and wheels, letting the wheels roll and stretch out without requiring extra frames of body animation.

A lot of games will use separate sprites with their own palette if the character is using a weapon. For example look at the turtles in TMNT; each of them is only 3 colours, but the weapon is animated separately and has its own palette.

There are probably other nuances, but this is a start.


Wow, I really did Mess this up...

OK. i Know what you mean by the palette. I'll try to fix that. Also That is not a hair haiglight, it is a seperation in the hair. I probably need to change that. I am Also Going to work on the proportions. thanks for the advice.

Author:  tepples [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

Yeah, if it's a separation, it should use background color.

The typical pattern seen in later games is skin color, light clothes color, dark clothes color that doubles as outline. Look at Super Mario Bros. 3: the overalls are actually black, and the gloves are skin color. Another pattern is seen in Contra: head and shirt with one palette, pants with another, both palettes reused elsewhere on the screen.

Author:  Amini [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

tepples wrote:
Yeah, if it's a separation, it should use background color.

The typical pattern seen in later games is skin color, light clothes color, dark clothes color that doubles as outline. Look at Super Mario Bros. 3: the overalls are actually black, and the gloves are skin color. Another pattern is seen in Contra: head and shirt with one palette, pants with another, both palettes reused elsewhere on the screen.



Ok. Thanks. I'll Work On That.

EDIT: Finished Him. He is 16x28 and has 3 colors. I also Named him. Rez.

Image

EDIT EDIT: Added Running Frames, Jumping Frames.
2nd Line is what he'll look like if he is attacking. The two things in the bottom right are his arms, a separate animation.

Image

Author:  Dwedit [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

First thing that came to mind when I saw your new character:
Image

(for those of you who can't identify this character, it's the main character of Clash at Demonhead)

Author:  Amini [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

Dwedit wrote:
First thing that came to mind when I saw your new character:
Image

(for those of you who can't identify this character, it's the main character of Clash at Demonhead)


Nice Catch! I actually used him for reference.

Author:  tokumaru [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

Amini wrote:
Also That is not a hair haiglight, it is a seperation in the hair.

I though it was a separation at first, but got confused when rainwarrior said it was a highlight! :lol:

tepples wrote:
The typical pattern seen in later games is skin color, light clothes color, dark clothes color that doubles as outline.

Colors definitely have to double. Light colors should be used for highlighting darker areas and dark colors should be used to shade lighter areas. With moderation, of course, otherwise light areas and dark areas will look too similar to each other

Quote:
Look at Super Mario Bros. 3: the overalls are actually black, and the gloves are skin color.

Heh, if it weren't for the artwork I would just say he's not wearing gloves!

Quote:
Another pattern is seen in Contra: head and shirt with one palette, pants with another, both palettes reused elsewhere on the screen.

Mixing palettes is good, it makes the NES seem less limited. I was also common for the body to use one palette and the head another, like Bucky O'Hare.

Author:  Amini [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

HELP!

I decided that 1 jumping frame would be too boring, but I dont have the skill to make this.

Can someone help me turn my sprite into this jump?
Image

Author:  tepples [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

It looks like Mario is in a pike position: hips bent, legs mostly straight. Once you draw your character in a pike at one angle, you can spin him 45, 90, and 135 degrees with rotpixels and then use flipping to get the other 4.

Oh, and on the diagonal frames, look at Mario's eyes. He looks ticked off at something.

Author:  Amini [ Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

tepples wrote:
It looks like Mario is in a pike position: hips bent, legs mostly straight. Once you draw your character in a pike at one angle, you can spin him 45, 90, and 135 degrees with rotpixels and then use flipping to get the other 4.

Oh, and on the diagonal frames, look at Mario's eyes. He looks ticked off at something.


Thanks for the help. Yeah. He does looked ticked off.

Author:  Amini [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

Hey, I used my old sprite to make a new character that should work with the NES.

Image

Tell me what you think.

Author:  Shiru [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

NES sprites have to be well aligned by 8x8 grid and use not more than 3 colors besides the background (transparent color). You can increase number of colors by using few palettes for different 8x8 parts of the sprite, however, it'll reduce number of colors for other sprite objects on the screen. The picture you posted is not follow these limitations.

Author:  Amini [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Character Frames

Shiru wrote:
NES sprites have to be well aligned by 8x8 grid and use not more than 3 colors besides the background (transparent color). You can increase number of colors by using few palettes for different 8x8 parts of the sprite, however, it'll reduce number of colors for other sprite objects on the screen. The picture you posted is not follow these limitations.

Oh yeah, oops.
I was so fixated on making it fit in the NES palette and dimensions, I forgot about the color limit. Heh, I'll change that.

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