Sprite colours

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

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tokumaru
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Re: Sprite colours

Post by tokumaru » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:25 pm

That looks ok, but one thing I don't like is the fact that everything but the green parts only use 2 colors at a time, giving the scene a sort of a "ZX Spectrum vibe". NES graphics are expected to have more depth than that. Your palettes look terribly underused, with the same greens repeated all over.

I guess you're too hung up on avoiding attribute clashes, and that's making you use those extremely repetitive palettes, in order to accommodate all possible color combinations. That's generally not how good NES graphics work. I think the trick is not to avoid the attribute clashes, but to use them to your advantage. Or you can abuse the global background color (black) in palette transitions to preserve color slots.

Another thing that looks weird to me is that, judging by their size, the trees are supposed to be distant, but they're as well defined as the grass, which's closer. Background elements with too much contrast and details as the foreground are confusing in platformers. It would probably be better if the trees were a little faded (bluer, with less contrast - no black!) and not as textured.

Chasersgaming
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Re: Sprite colours

Post by Chasersgaming » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:21 pm

Hmm, interesting feedback, and absolutely get what your saying, I need more practice. I am conscious of the attributions, and at the same time was trying to save colour space to add other elements,such as the fence/sky/water maybe I ought to lose the highlight green from the trees to shake out the contrast and consider another colour that can be better used throughout. Il have another go taking on board what has been said and try and focus on colour management instead of the attribution stuff. Thanks for your feedback.:)

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tokumaru
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Re: Sprite colours

Post by tokumaru » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:14 pm

Another downside of being overzealous about attribute clashes is that you used up all 4 background palettes on that simple scene. There's none left for game items or anything that might need to stand out. You can only use sprites now, which means that you can't have items in abundant quantities, such as the coins in Mario games.

I really like the trick used in Blaster Master, for example, where a palette containing black, gray, orange and green is used for both the grass and the dirt/rocks under it. Black and gray are used for shading and highlighting, respectively, both the grass and the dirt. That works well because gray blends with the surrounding colors, specially in NTSC. If you can do something like that, you get a lot of freedom to draw slopes and such, all while using a single palette.

When you're working in an environment with such limited color capabilities as the NES, it really helps to think outside the box and experiment with unusual color combinations, instead of doing it the straightforward way and giving everything its typical cartoon colors. Reusing colors is the key if you want to get something colorful out of the NES. What serves as the base color for one object, might work as the highlight color in another... I guess you have to experiment, and not assume that object X must use color Y just because that's the typical color used for said object.

Chasersgaming
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Re: Sprite colours

Post by Chasersgaming » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:55 pm

OK, i have had another go and this is where i'm at now. its not perfect, needs work here and there, but had a better go the colours i think and tried to manage them a little better without focusing to much on the attribution, hopefully still adheres to them though.
Didn't think about using background tiles for things like coins and such, thought that would be sprites, but i have thrown a chest in there.
thanks for your feedback. :)
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Chasersgaming
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Re: Sprite colours

Post by Chasersgaming » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:57 pm

oh that's the wrong palette in the image!

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tokumaru
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Re: Sprite colours

Post by tokumaru » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:49 pm

Ah, that's very nice! I like what you did with the grass and the rocks! The attribute grid is a bit to obvious on the rock pattern though, you could probably have it tile more seamlessly. Another thing that caught my eye is that the section of darkened rocks under the grass is a bit too thick, considering how thin the grass itself is.

Anyway, much better use of color overall!

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nesrocks
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Re: Sprite colours

Post by nesrocks » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:38 pm

It is indeed way, way better! Congratulations on the visible improvement! Repetition is boring because it's predictable. You've managed to break it with unique elements, seamlessly. That's the right way. One thing you can try is make the wooden support on the structure that is submerged to utilize the water attribute, it can give a nice effect.
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Sumez
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Re: Sprite colours

Post by Sumez » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:09 am

Wow, this is a pretty huge improvement, honestly. This looks really good.

Chasersgaming
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Re: Sprite colours

Post by Chasersgaming » Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:33 pm

Thanks for the positive feedback! It was a massive change in direction, your comments have really helped. Needs tidying up as you say, but I will do that after the Xmas hols and release in the new year. Have a happy holiday! :)

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