Battle Sprites

For discussing and sharing all forms of artwork related to the game

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Safir-Kreuz
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Postby Safir-Kreuz » Tue May 30, 2006 7:02 am

Here of late I have been getting better... and kinda getting out of kind of lazy stupor... amazing. :) I really appreciate your guys comments... I actually feel quite good towards these guys.

Sylon - Of course we can give it a try, and see how it looks... but that may reduce production drastically. Perhaphs we should split up the battle sprites... maybe by size or something.

Roots - I would love to put information for the Wiki.. but... um... some reason I don't understand how to work it.
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Postby Roots » Tue May 30, 2006 8:59 pm

Hmm, maybe we should make a wiki page for "how to wiki" then. ;) There is this page in wikipedia (which uses the same wiki software that we do) but its a bit verbose. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_edit_a_page Don't worry about the wiki page too much right now, but it would be nice if we had a place where we can talk about our artwork techniques.


Speaking of which, S-K would it be possible for you to upload the pencil sketch scans for those sprites as well? I'm just interested to see what they look like before photo-shoppage :heh:
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Postby Safir-Kreuz » Wed May 31, 2006 1:11 am

... NOOOOO!!!!!! Ah... yeah sure I will load up the images... just be warned the bases aren't that good, you can tell that I have altered, added, or removed artifacts from the originals.

[img:433:387]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/base/Daemarbora.png[/img]
I added details and flames.
[img:128:128]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/battlesprites/Daemarbora.png[/img]
[img:412:450]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/base/Deceleon.png[/img]
I added more facial details..
[img:256:256]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/battlesprites/Deceleon.png[/img]
[img:436:609]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/base/Nagaruda.png[/img]
Removed ribbon details, altered sword design, corrected face..
[img:180:256]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/battlesprites/Nagaruda.png[/img]
[img:442:636]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/base/Arcanadrake.png[/img]
Roughly the same, hence why it's my least favorite..
[img:192:256]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/battlesprites/Arcanadrake.png[/img]
[img:743:571]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/base/Aerocephal-Aurum.png[/img]
Details added on Aerocephal, and Aurum-Drakueli had the background leg lengthened..
[img:192:192]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/battlesprites/Aerocephal.png[/img][img:320:256]http://allacrost.org/staff/user/safir-kreuz/battlesprites/Aurum-Drakueli.png[/img]

As you can tell these images themselves are not worth applause, they are the stepping stones though towards a good direction and a neat final product :)
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Postby alenacat » Sun Jul 09, 2006 5:56 pm

As for Claudius battle sprites, that we desperately need...
To get the ball rolling I tried out doing some very rough sketches for the "use item" and death battle sprite animations for Claudius.

I'm not sure what has already been done except idle. Feel free to disregard these totally...

http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/alenacat/claudius

I think Sylon, S-K and Jetryl could all do a better job than I could but it's progress, it's important right now and it is probably too much work for Sylon to get done alone so maybe we could all chip in some help :)
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Postby visage » Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:34 am

Well, since not all items will be drunken, I don't think that is an appropriate general use item animation. Something like having him raise his hand over his head or something and use some particles over head. Doesn't technically represent anything inparticular, but better to be more general than specific in this case, I think.
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Postby Rain » Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:55 am

I agree with Visage. We don't want to overdo it with the animations. A potion can be used via MARIO RPG where it just shows the item "exploding" over the players head signifying that it has already been used.
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Postby Roots » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:00 am

I agree with visage and Rain. Thanks for helping out though Vickie. :approve:


Sylon, can you post up here what you have? I know that its probably not complete and you may not want to show us something that is not in a semi-presentable state, but I would like to pull as many of our artists into this as possible right now and help distribute the work so you don't have everything on your shoulders. Or at the very least, give us an accurate and complete description of what you've done so far so we don't overlap your work. Thanks :angel:
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Postby Sylon » Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:33 am

I've actually been having a summer job recently, and that's a new piece of mayhem for my schedule.

Anyway I didn't get much done. The first large frame has a rotated left arm and a shifted torso (from hip joint), and the second large frame is just an extra, with claudius' right foot as a placeholder (since visage used the bottom left corner as the drawn position on the sprite).

I have the rotated swords at the bottom left, without the shiny highlights. But they're ready for slapping onto Claudius when we move his arm, I guess.

[img:440:395]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/sylon/battlesprites/claudius_temp_attack.png[/img]

Guys I really think I overdid the idle animation. Now it's a pisser because every other animation has to live up to that!
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Postby alenacat » Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:57 am

Woo for progress! have you done much animating before? maybe you have hit a brick a wall because the motion of the arm needs to be planned. I can help with that if you want to draw over the frames in your style?
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Postby Roots » Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:13 am

Thanks Sylon. :) Since I think all of the other art for the prologue is done at this point, are there any artists willing to help out with putting this animation together? It would be a huge bonus to see Claudius actually run up and attack his enemies in the demo. :angel:
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Postby Sylon » Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:29 pm

Alena it depends on what your idea of "how much" is. :heh:

I animated a lot, but for the human body, not much. Anyway you can give it a shot if you really believe you know what to do. If you can make it look realistic, that's good!

Originally I was planning for him to grab the sword with his other hand (so 2 hands) and swing from his top right shoulder down towards his left foot. Difficult to draw when in an isometric perspective as well.

His legs and torso would have to bend properly as he swings, as well.

Anyway try your best. Try making it smooth too if you have time (otherwise me or someone else can fill in the missing frames I suppose).
-[Sylon Shanings]-, A Servant of Allacrost.
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Postby alenacat » Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:57 pm

Cool. I wasn't sure if you had the time to shade in time so I gave the whole thing a shot. :) It's more dagger-y than slashy swordy and the shadow doesn't match up

[img:96:128]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/alenacat/claudius/attack.gif[/img]

Definitely not smooth! (3 frames) but good enough for now?

Wouldn't mind giving the death frameset a try too... it's certainly a challenge
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Postby Roots » Sun Jul 16, 2006 6:17 pm

Sylon wrote:Originally I was planning for him to grab the sword with his other hand (so 2 hands) and swing from his top right shoulder down towards his left foot. Difficult to draw when in an isometric perspective as well.


I strongly :approve: of this attack motion. Whoever does animate this please follow this motion. :angel:


Alena, usually you don't do a sword thrust with a single hand; both hands are used, and the sword is typically kept parallel to the ground. To do a stab that angels upward like you have, the attacker would lower his/her body and put their entire weight behind the thrust. A skilled swordsman uses more than just their arm stregnth when attacking, except maybe for fencing.

(Roots has training in kenjutsu, so he knows at least the basics about sword combat :cool: )


What I suggest to any/all artists that work on this is not to try to polish it off right away. First get the motion outlines drawn and forget about any coloring or shading. Post those and once we feel that the motion is good, then they can be colored in and polished off. M'kay? :)
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Postby alenacat » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:47 am

Yes I agree.

I tried out one frame of death. It's not that difficult. I will get back to other things now

Anyone is welcome to edit this and the other frames if it/they can be used
game over :cry:

[img:128:128]http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/alenacat/claudius/death2.png[/img]
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Postby Loodwig » Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:01 am

It probably looks great in the context of the real game, but it looks like Claudius ate something terrible.

"Game over.... Everybody please leave. I mean it people go away now, I have to do stuff and I don't think I'll make it to a restroom. GO NOW!"
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Postby Rain » Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:07 am

Loodwig wrote:but it looks like Claudius ate something terrible.

"Game over.... Everybody please leave. I mean it people go away now, I have to do stuff and I don't think I'll make it to a restroom. GO NOW!"


:heh: X (10) :bow:
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Re: Battle Sprites

Postby Sylon » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:43 am

Whew. Gosh, it's been 7 years. It's such a shame this great game hasn't found artists who could devote much of their time, including me...

Anyway, I have been working on the Goliath Scorpion again. I re-read this thread and the conversation about it. I've realized while working, that I am a much better artist now, and I actually underSTAND :think: what you were saying before, Roots (and Jetryl) about the scorpion being "carved from marble," etcetera, and I understand Jetryl's comments about hue variation better.

I have no questions at the moment, but will just say for now I have been fleshing out his head some more, and darkening some shaded areas for more contrast. My guess, if things keep up, is that I will be finished in a couple of weeks. The dead soldier prop might have to wait even longer (if I even do it at all!).

And I hope it won't continue to intimidate other artists!!
-[Sylon Shanings]-, A Servant of Allacrost.
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"DAD GUMMIT I NEEDA GET MY TORUS DOWN." - Sylon's art jabber
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Re: Battle Sprites

Postby Roots » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:25 pm

Sweet, I'm looking forward to seeing it. Make sure to share WIP drafts along the way so we can offer feedback. Maybe the following concept art will help you as a reference?

Image

I really love that piece of work. Especially the tail, it looks so bad ass and deadly.
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Re: Battle Sprites

Postby Sylon » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:09 am

He is so awesome, thanks for the reference!

Hey, so, as I've been fleshing out the head of my scorpion, I got to thinkin' :huh: . I wanted to finish the scorpion with a smooth pixel art shading in line with what I've created so far. However, if I were to do that, all battle sprites would really need to have that kind of shading if there is to be a professional look to the game (as Jetryl pointed out earlier, and I agree: uniformity amongst the sprite styles is a good thing).

I know I do not have the time to pixel a game full of monsters in the style I have started so far (with my spider, skeleton, slime, scorpion). And by the looks of it, no one else is really up to doing it that way, either, which I would guess is why Brett's style was more digitally-drawn/painted and not as pixelized. It is a very ambitious goal to pixel such large sprites.

So, even if I finished the Goliath Scorpion, I won't continue beyond that in that style because of the time consumption, and if no one else comes along to donate their time, then I've wasted my time and you're still going to be stuck spriteless!

I propose this: Toon-shaded battle sprites. I see we've encountered this before on this very topic around pages 13-14, and I myself was opposed to it as well:

Roots wrote:"Cool design, but I can't say I'm a huge fan of the cartoon shading though. While it definitely would work well for some games, I don't think it would for Allacrost. That serpant looks very un-threatening because he has so many bright and bubbly colors. I dunno, I can't think of what I want to say exactly right now, but I just don't think that style fits with the type of game we've been creating (re-read the prologue and I think you'll agree).

If you can draft up monsters really quick in flash, then do the shading and other details by hand, do you think that would be feasible? I know the cartoon style is probably a lot easier/quicker to do, and I want us to be able to produce art as quickly and efficiently as possible, but I don't want to sacrifice quality/style in doing so, you know? :shrug:"


Let's imagine the pros and cons:

Cons:

- Artistically it will not have the same "near-paint-quality" gradation of values from color to color, so in a sense it will be less "adult," I suppose, as you indicated is less fit for this game (whether it is less visually appealing will be a matter of taste, or a matter of the "environment").
- It definitely will have a more present-gaming-age feel to it rather than what the old nostalgic FF style conjures up (however, the digitally-painted portraits and backdrops also do not bring to mind the old FF style).
- I imagine that in the battle scenes, if the portraits and backdrops are digitally painted, the characters pixeled old FF style, and the enemies toon-shaded, it will potentially provide a clumsy smorgasbord of art styles packed into a scene (not that professional game developers haven't done this in the past - Xenogears comes to mind).

Pros:

+ Battle sprites will be created MUCH faster, due to a smaller amount of colors necessary. Heck, I'd even feel more encouraged to spend time at night to plug away at these myself! However I am not much of a concept artist, so that might be my downfall there.
+ All current sprites can easily be rendered into toon-shaded versions using a vector-based art program (such as Flash, which I have), and in case it becomes necessary to "go back" to heavily-pixeled sprites, all finished toon-shaded sprites can easily be "pixel-shaded" by an avid pixel artist if such a person is really, really, interested in doing all that pixeling, and has the time!

What do you Tyler (or anyone) think so far?

As for your critique on the old red serpent I designed (is that thing still around by the way?), I do believe there is a way to toon shade which does not involve using such bright kiddy colors!

Meanwhile, I will be taking that concept art up there and color it toon style. It may come out to in fact look fantastic, and I think we can all benefit from seeing it before our eyes before we discard the toon shade idea!
-[Sylon Shanings]-, A Servant of Allacrost.
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"DAD GUMMIT I NEEDA GET MY TORUS DOWN." - Sylon's art jabber
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Re: Battle Sprites

Postby Sylon » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:08 am

Well, here it is!

Image

I wonder how it might look in the actual battle scene.

Feedback anyone? Bioluminescent antennas anyone? Don't be afraid! (I know Tyler isn't, hahaha...)

By the way this took me about 10 or 11 hours total, but about 3 or 4 of those hours went into arbitrary and/or irrelevant-to-the-particular-image stuff like swapping color schemes and figuring out my universal battle sprite lighting angle...in other words, if I can get streamlined about the process, (and I CAN), these can be pumped out pretty fast as long as the concept art is available. I am actually quite excited to do this (at least for now?!).

Also Tyler, I know you don't think this fits the style of the game, but what about the fact that a toon-shaded sprite will not only be quick, but will never be a wasted effort (as long as the enemy is designed well enough conceptually!), because at least you could use them as placeholders in the game, to be further pixeled by a gung-ho pixel artist in the future, right??
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"DAD GUMMIT I NEEDA GET MY TORUS DOWN." - Sylon's art jabber

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