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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:21 pm 
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For mean SD characters, it's worth looking at the Neo Geo Pocket Color Fighting games.

Here's a sheet of Charlotte from Samurai Shodown! 2: http://i.imgur.com/lGQJzRW.png
M. Bison from SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium: http://i.imgur.com/gM6f3C8.gif

In fact just look at Neo Geo Pocket Color games in general. The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny and Samurai Shodown! 2 in particular might be interesting to look at for you for many reasons. The average art quality for sprites is higher than on many consoles because of how doomed it was (no one looking to cash in on quick popularity), and for the same reason there aren't many games to look through. Some have more pixels to work with (Charlotte is 5 pixels taller than your girl, which wouldn't even be bad to create an imposing figure), but they're still good to look at.

Akuma tends to capture mean:
Image
Image
The second one obviously had a lot more to work with.

A quick edit to demonstrate something:
Attachment:
DamagedDeadEdit2.gif
DamagedDeadEdit2.gif [ 2.62 KiB | Viewed 1240 times ]

(Random before we start. I noticed this animation looks a bit like a sneeze.)
Her Ponytail warped on frame 13 in the original. Frame 11, it's to the left of her head. Frame 12 it moves behind her head (kind of a warp, but not jarring). Frame 13, it's to the right of her head which was a very large change from frame 12.

The way soft bits move is that they're pulled by the hard bits. So if she were standing somewhat upright (like frame 12), her head would move left, but the ponytail would stay still, until the head moves the ponytail's length away. Then it'd be pulled toward that movement. After she falls it's still in the air, with gravity being the last force acting on it because what its attached to is no longer moving. (Which you've done.) The reason hair bounces when walking, etc is because the head pulls the hair down, but the pulled-down-hair is pushed into by the head moving up into it. Repeat. This is why hair appears a few frames behind.

I also removed 2 frames to give a sense of acceleration while falling like Espozo mentioned. Here's one of my favorite images to demonstrate this:
Image
The top and middle dot both take the same amount of time to reach the end line. The middle dot appears to be slowing down, because it's moving less distance each frame. Your falling had her move pretty much the same distance each frame, like the top dot, when you'd want something like the reverse of the middle dot. Always be mindful of how much distance things are moving in each frame, you don't want to fall into the even spacing trap.

The first frame I removed was from her body falling. The second was from the hair settling. A ponytail might fall slightly slower due to air resistance, but not by that much.

It wasn't the greatest edit, but hopefully the accompanying information helps.

Edit: Just as a general note, always look for times when removing a frame might be better. I realize good animation with high frame rate is the goal, but if frames are used differently sometimes you might get a better animation that would take up less space.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:26 pm 
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Kasumi wrote:
A quick edit to demonstrate something:

That's definitely the general idea, but it may just need to be redrawn to where some of the frames are "tweens", as lidnariq had said, so that it doesn't look choppy. Notice how when she's falling, she kind of speeds up for a millisecond mid fall. The pony tail also stays up and then kind of teleports onto the floor.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:35 pm 
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One could move the frames before the frames I removed closer to the frames after, so long as the spacing didn't end up even again.

Or to remove no frames, just retime it so that each frame falling frame gets less exposure time which is something games have the luxury of doing. Even if removing no frames, keep the ponytail thing in mind.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:54 pm 
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Well, I tried editing the newest version of this sprite. Do you think the shine on the metal works? It makes it look a bit more similar to what you originally created.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:40 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
Well, I tried editing the newest version of this sprite. Do you think the shine on the metal works? It makes it look a bit more similar to what you originally created.

The shine isn't a bad idea, but move it to the center, and it'll work. Light contrast, and what-not.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:41 pm 
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Kasumi wrote:
For mean SD characters, it's worth looking at the Neo Geo Pocket Color Fighting games.


I feel like these are pretty impressive for the complexity of shapes they were able to define with such a limited palette. I feel like they're more impressive than what I've seen on NES, like Mighty Final Fight. Charlotte appears to be 1 palette, and M. Bison is usually one, occasionally two. I feel like using two palettes for an enemy would be fine, but using two on my main character would limit me to those palettes for the entire game.

I watched a video of Last Blade on Neo Geo Pocket. It's really impressive to see in motion, especially with the backgrounds. Something on NES that looked like that would be wicked.

Seeing this stuff kind of makes me wish my main character had more detail to her costume, but doing so would also make her feminine form less defined, so it's a trade off. One quirk about SD characters in pixel art is that it's often pretty hard to distinguish male from female characters.

Quote:
(Random before we start. I noticed this animation looks a bit like a sneeze.)


Yeah, it does kind of look like a sneeze. I'm not sure how to address that at the moment.

Quote:
Her Ponytail warped on frame 13 in the original. Frame 11, it's to the left of her head. Frame 12 it moves behind her head (kind of a warp, but not jarring). Frame 13, it's to the right of her head which was a very large change from frame 12.


I think a root problem for the ponytail issues may be in the damaged animation. With her body moving to the left, her ponytail should actually swing over to the right. That would make for a smoother transition into the fall.

I was thinking when I did the fall animation that centrifugal force would push the ponytail outward from her head, but I guess with the weight of it, it would be more likely to trail.

Yeah, acceleration of gravity is something that I neglected to take into too much consideration with the animation. I'm not sure though, if the sprite should actually move vertically, or if the object should move as it goes through it's death animation.

Another little issue that hasn't come up (because I haven't posted turning animations) is the highlight on the side of her head. Its looks fine, but when she turns, then the light source is now on the opposite side. I tried doing a highlight on the top so that the light source doesn't change, but it ultimately didn't look like a highlight to me then, just like a line. Still another matter I haven't solved.

Quote:
It wasn't the greatest edit, but hopefully the accompanying information helps.

Very helpful information, as always.

Quote:
Just as a general note, always look for times when removing a frame might be better.

Right. Like you pointed out how removing a frame on her attack animation made it look much more powerful.

Espozo wrote:
Notice how when she's falling, she kind of speeds up for a millisecond mid fall.

I think perhaps making the vertical movement of the animation actually be handled by the game engine may remedy this issue, whether or not I have to remove frames.

Kasumi wrote:
just retime it so that each frame falling frame gets less exposure time which is something games have the luxury of doing

I've been debating on whether or not this is something that I want to do in my game. Right now, I have it set so that each animation itself can have a different amount of exposure time, but not each frame within that animation. When I've been playing with GIFs on attack animations lately though, I've been making the swipe frames display for less time though, so I have been leaning toward implementing this feature.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:20 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
Well, I tried editing the newest version of this sprite. Do you think the shine on the metal works? It makes it look a bit more similar to what you originally created.


I edited your edit of my edit of your edit of my design. :)

Personally, I couldn't get the highlight to look good, in my opinion. I had tried something like that before but didn't like it.

I did like some of the minor tweaks that you did to the image though. I changed a few things.

I decided to change his raised collar to a scarf. It gets chilly hanging out down in evil dungeons. Also, like the main character's ponytail, it's something that helps to convey movement in animation.

I made his shoulders a little bit wider to make them wider than the main character's. Made his waist just a touch smaller. I moved his center line one pixel over which I feel works a lot better for the perspective.

I also thought, if you're going through all of the trouble to have armored plates on your thighs, you might want to protect your junk as well, so I gave him an armored cup.

Edit: I changed quite a few things but figured I'd edit my post instead of making a new one.

I added some more armor and changed the color scheme. I think I know where I'm going to use this guy, and there will be two of them, so probably blue and green.

Attachment:
MaskMan.png
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:40 pm 
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darryl.revok wrote:
armored cup.

Hell no! If you want to "protect his junk", then do something less awkward like this:

Image

See the soldier on the plane?

Anyway, This is what I did:

Attachment:
MaskMan[1].png
MaskMan[1].png [ 452 Bytes | Viewed 1118 times ]

I'm just saying, whoever thinks that drawing artwork on the NES is harder then the SNES is full of sh*t, because that took me all of two minutes. On the SNES, it would have been more like twenty.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:10 pm 
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It depends on what it is you are trying to do. I take longer doing pixel art on nes format than I do for snes on top of that I work even faster spriting high res (guilty gear) or even hd (persona arena) nes ever got damn pixel counts. One missed place pixel can screw up the whole thing. Some people just don't care but to me it bothers me and I will sit there for hours to get it right even if I have to redraw the crap over and over.

I hate franken spriting and I hate spriting over something and calling it my own unless it was my own sprite to begin with. So yeah.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:18 pm 
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Fjamesfernandez wrote:
One missed place pixel can screw up the whole thing.

If you have bad OCD like I do, it doesn't matter if it's 2bpp or 4bpp. I still try to meticulously go through and make sure everything is perfect. It's especially bad if you're using a lot of shades of the same color instead of just multiple colors. Basically, for me, having 5x the amount of colors to work with (2bpp to 4bpp) takes 5x the amount of time, and that's not even including how SNES sprites are usually larger... It generally takes about 10x the amount of time for me.

You know, Fjamesfernandez, if you're not into programming and seem to prefer "16 bit" style artwork, why didn't you choose the SNES or something similar? I guess you knew not enough people are working on the SNES to be able to help...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:26 pm 
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Outlines are where the pixels really have to be exactly right. Search this page for "Here I start messing with two pixels" and look what the hand is doing.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:28 pm 
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Fjamesfernandez wrote:
One missed place pixel can screw up the whole thing.

Especially when you get into animation. I find that often when I'm playing the animation and I have a hitch or something, I only have a couple pixels that can be changed to fix the animation.

Quote:
I hate franken spriting

One thing you may find with NES is that sometimes you're limited in the ways you can draw something. For example, the head of my main character. I've tried a lot of different ways to draw it, but some just don't work. Like, I've tried tilting her head up and down while looking sideways, and it always looks like an alien head. Same if I try to turn her head just a little. So ultimately, I've come up with like 5 heads I can use. The hair gets animated every frame though. When I did her fall animation, I was able to completely redraw her body and head every time, but that was with her eyes closed, so I had more leeway in what would look okay.

Quote:
I hate spriting over something and calling it my own

Yeah, this bothers me too. I modified sprites from Moon Crystal to get a start but I'm going to change all of those. I changed the shape of my character's body so they have to be changed anyway. I think Espozo's just helping me edit this one, I don't think he's calling it "his own".

There are things that are easier about designing for NES and things that are easier about SNES, I imagine. It's definitely easier to create complex shapes with a bigger palette, but is it more time consuming? I guess it depends on your familiarity with the format.

Espozo wrote:
Anyway, This is what I did


You changed the shape of his cup and stomach plate, right? Anything else? I think I like what you did better. I feel like I've seen armor like this somewhere. Ronin Warriors, maybe?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:32 pm 
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Oh I don't mind Frankenstein spriting if it comes from my own image and I meant things in general lol I'm not pointing any fingers :D but yeah it's a pain.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:37 pm 
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You know, I can already tell you and Metal Slug 4 wouldn't get along. (Then again, no one gets along with it because it sucks.)

darryl.revok wrote:
You changed the shape of his cup and stomach plate, right? Anything else? I think I like what you did better. I feel like I've seen armor like this somewhere. Ronin Warriors, maybe?

A bunch of random junk, like the leg that would be his right was really oddly attached to his body. (And a bunch of other stray pixels all over the place.) I don't intend for it to be a "cup", but rather just another flap thing that comes down, like what's on the legs.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:13 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
I'm just saying, whoever thinks that drawing artwork on the NES is harder then the SNES is full of sh*t, because that took me all of two minutes.

To be fair, what you made here is a cartoon sprite (black outlines all around, flat coloring), which is way easier than volume sprites for example. Also, there's no such thing as a "NES sprite" or a "SNES sprite"... there are way too many different art styles that can be used to draw sprites that you can't just pick up one particular frame of one particular character and say that it's representative of all sprites in that platform. On the NES you can go from Gyromite to Batman: Return of the Joker (which by the way looks MUCH better than the SNES and Genesis versions, go figure) in terms of sprites, and I would definitely not throw both in the same bag.

Having said that, I do agree with you that it's generally harder to draw sprites for the SNES, because more colors equals more possibilities and more chances to screw up. But if you decided to go with this same cartoon style on the SNES, that would be just as easy to draw, if not easier, since you would have more freedom when picking the flat colors.

In the end, the art style probably matters more than the platform you're drawing for. Sure, some styles work better on certain platforms than others, so it's a combination of both things, but I guess the style speaks louder.


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