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 Post subject: Character design: Milca
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:11 pm 
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During breaks from work on my floating-point math library, I'm working on designing a character who hires grandmas to bake squillions of cookies. This is what I have so far. Feel free to tell me what I screwed up :P


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:03 pm 
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The only thing I don't like is the color palette looking a bit monochromatic, but I don't know if your stuck with the palette you have. I would've chose pink in replacement of orange.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:33 pm 
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like it :) Goes well with the theme I think


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:48 pm 
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You screwed up. Well, not really =) She looks good, I'd only suggest a few tweaks to the side view:

- The hand looks unnaturally curved. Pinkies shouldn't be as high as thumbs if the hand is relaxed. In fact, the arm is unnaturally straight, while the other angles suggest it could be slightly bent forward.
- The forehead looks protruded, because it's outlined with the hair color. Since she has bangs, the hair should appear to be covering the forehead a bit.
- As an improvement, you could show her ear to add some detail to the otherwise flat area that is her hair.

As a matter of fact, if these colors are constant (i.e. you don't change them to different hues to recolor the character) you could definitely add some highlights to the hair and at least put a little shadow where her nose should be in the front view, since that feature is so prominent in the side view and completely absent in the front view. A little bit of shading on the skin would definitely add some volume too (like shadow cast on her arms by her sleeves). If colors can change, I second psycopathicteen's suggestion of making the sprite less monochrome.

I really liked to cookie on her chest! =)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:29 am 
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Thanks for the feedback. I'll explain a couple of the design decisions:
  • Coloring: I didn't go with pink because I thought it would be too stereotypical, and I didn't want to have to use overlay for the cookie emblem covering the capelet's buttons the way Harvest Moon GBC draws Pete's scarf. The orange color may change during holidays.
  • Forehead: I was trying to suggest a slight unevenness in the center of the bangs.

I made some changes in the second version below:
  • All: Added shadow to arms below capelet
  • Front: Rounded bangs somewhat to make them less uneven
  • Side: Moved hand forward to suggest a bent arm; removed finger divisions because they're indistinct at scales like this with 25-mm-wide pixels
  • Side: Bangs have more thickness when covering the forehead
  • Side: Slight suggestion of an ear; I might have done it wrong

Still confused as to how to do these:
  • Add highlights without confusing them with hair decs
  • Indicate the nose in front without crowding the face
  • Get the hands just right

And I may end up needing these:
  • Older and younger versions for the cut scene where she retires and gives the business to her daughter. (No, I don't consider this a spoiler. Wikis and forums for the original version of the game have detailed discussions of strategy of how much to do before you reset/retire/prestige/New Game+, and there are online calculators that analyze an exported save file and tell the user whether to retire and pass on the experience for a production boost.) I know older is more lines on the face and graying hair, and younger is simplified shapes, hair decs, and a shorter body and arms.


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milca64px.png
milca64px.png [ 727 Bytes | Viewed 2938 times ]
File comment: Examples of seasonal palette swaps
milca_holiday.png
milca_holiday.png [ 750 Bytes | Viewed 2938 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:29 am 
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My largely failed attempt. I didn't like how spindly the arm looks in the side-view, so I fattened it up a bit. Nose == meh. But I *think* the idea can be achieved with the right application of the dress color to the facial features. Most striking was the difference when I removed the outline from the front of the face in the side view. Not sure what that'd look like on the real thing.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:45 am 
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Here are a few changes I'd make to the side view:
Attachment:
milca-side.png
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:54 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
Here are a few changes I'd make to the side view:
Attachment:
milca-side.png

+1! Very nice shading!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:19 pm 
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Here are some of my ideas, use and/or discard them as you wish:

I cleaned up her hands, and added the nose on the front view. I also gave her dress a ruffled texture at the bottom because it looked a little flat/strange otherwise. I gave her some new shoes and shortened her foot on the sideview (Not a huge change, just enough to make them less boot-like). I altered the cookie on her chest to give it some better detailing, and on the sideview, I've interpreted it as a brooch and gave it some more depth. I also tried out a lighter eye because the completely darkened eye was kinda creeping me out, and I puffed out her bangs because the front view makes them look like they'd puff out more instead of just drape. I also tried out having her apron's tie be asymmetric.

I tried my best to add some kind of highlight to her hair, but I couldn't make it work; I'd ordinarily use a lighter shade of the hair color, but the only available color is the orange of her dress, with looked too bright and stood out too much like it was a decoration instead of a highlight. Given the graphical limitations in play here, I think it's best to just keep the hair simple.

All in all, this was a fun sprite to work with, you did a good job making her cute. :P


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tepples_milca.png
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:01 pm 
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I also made this version, just in case you're planning on making a Japanese localization too. :P クッキークリッカー!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:21 pm 
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Another try. There are practical problems with asymmetric highlighting on a sprite that's going to be flipped. Cookie-as-brooch is interesting, so long as it's not too heavy.
Attachment:
File comment: Round 3: Mostly Drag's, but with tokumaru's side ear change
milca64px.png
milca64px.png [ 785 Bytes | Viewed 2840 times ]

But after making the above, I realized what one of Drag's changes was supposed to be doing: the protruding forehead might be interfering with the side view's femininity, as a brow ridge is normally more pronounced in XY and absent in Asians.

I took one look at cpow's "largely failed attempt" and thought "whats the craps?" It reminds me of a character from Selkie. Here it is with two different NTSC artifact simulation methods. Watch how the different $2x colors ($22 for sky and $27 for nose) interfere.
Attachment:
File comment: cpow's unoutlined face
Left: GIMP simulation (pixel double, Distorts > Video > 3x3 not-additive rotated, Convolution [1 1 1], Pixelize 1x2)
Right: blargg's snes_ntsc

milca64px-cpow-filtered.jpg
milca64px-cpow-filtered.jpg [ 21.32 KiB | Viewed 2840 times ]


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:10 am 
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Yes I did think the side view looked rather skull-like or zombie-ish. That's why I said I failed... :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:33 am 
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Nice edits so far!

tepples wrote:
There are practical problems with asymmetric highlighting on a sprite that's going to be flipped.

You can still add some highlights and keep graphics mostly symmetrical if the light comes from above:

Attachment:
milca-symmetrical.png
milca-symmetrical.png [ 1.41 KiB | Viewed 2792 times ]

This is just a quick edit, and can probably be improved.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:13 am 
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I don't think highlights are going to look good on the hair when the colour will be the same as the skin.

It's looking good but I just have a couple suggestions:
- The outlines are looking a little jagged, try making the outline one pixel wide.
- The side view of the capelet looks too symmetrical, perhaps flatten the front a little.

I did a quick edit to show what I mean. I also made a few small changes to the design, just to give you more ideas.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:20 am 
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Krill wrote:
I did a quick edit to show what I mean. I also made a few small changes to the design, just to give you more ideas.

The side-view hands look amputated or like mittens...


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