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Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 10:39

Sorry, didn't see your reply until now.  Yeah, I meant the character, also everything marked flowers in the second screencap.  BTW, that site is notorious about taking resources from wherever it finds them and it doesn't bother with things like credit and terms of use.  I would highly recommend you delete your bookmark and not go back.

Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 00:36

It took some time but I did some follow up about the licensing of the sprites.  The only time Enterbrain has ever given permission for the RPG Maker sprites to be used outside of Enterbrain's products was for a few rare cases in a very particular circumstance involving porting a game made in RM to work on Android.  I'm sorry MitchBrits, but whoever you were contacting about the license to use RPG Maker sprites didn't actually hold the copyright.  They most likely made edits and were freely distributing those but they only have the rights to do that with their changes, not the sprites themselves.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 09:02

Bart, you've only got exterior tiles that you've been playing with, it's skewing your perspective.  When adding the saturation to the reds and oranges I was thinking of things like fire, lava, red headed characters (imagine if Crono was bigger), fall items like pumkins and leaves and so on.  The screencaps your working from have almost no warm values at all and what they do have is pretty muted.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 01:35

Sure thing.

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 23:11

Okay, let's see if I can do this.  I can't figure out how to put this into words and I don't have the skill to actually fix the palette to do what I'm thinking of but hopefully I can show you enough that it'll make sense.  The changes I'm making to the palette are to make a point, I don't necesarily think they'd be better.

Here's my attempt at making a red gem with the current palette.  It's all washed out and the ramp is uneaven.

Took the two darkest colors and combined them.  Used the new space for a purply dark red.  I then punched up the intensity on the rest of the colors.  The entire red-orange end of the spectrum now clashes with the other colors but I didn't like how greyed out the red spectrum was, it won't work well for lava or pumkins or fire at all.  Anyway, the point was to make that purply red.  Looks really great in the red ramp and look!  Looks good in the purple ramp and the brown ramp. (I tweaked one of the purple colors BTW).

So here's where we actually get to the point that I'm trying to explain.  Now that the red and purple are in better places, this is now possible.

All the other colors are exactly the same as the purple gem but putting the red in doesn't look out of place and gives it a completely different look.

I hope this makes sense.  I'm having the hardest time getting my thoughts out at the moment 'cause of a nasty head cold.

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 19:29

I think you'd be better off pushing some of those browns towards red than sacrificing a purple.  Purple is what got sacrificed in Dawnbringer and Arne's palettes, I'd hate to have that happen to this one too.  Brown, red and orange ramps could all easily go to the same colors at the darker end.  Or you could push the browns, reds and purples to a purply brown in the darker spectrum.  I think a lot of your problem here is that the ramps are still a bit too straight and so instead of tweaking a color to fit multiple ramps you're taking things out to make room for new colors.  In the end a really great palette will let you make multiple ramps of the same color because mulitple colors work for the same position in the ramp.

Could you post the current version?  I think it'd be easier to show you what I mean than tell you.

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 18:34

I'm sure if we were to really remap the LPC stuff to this palette the shadows would still be done the same way as before, with an overlay so there's really no point in worrying about those.

The remapped image is working a lot better with the new brown, not just the ground but the barrels too.  The lack of a good red seems a pretty big weakness in the pallet, I don't really see a way to make a decent ramp from it.  Since this is supposed to be a bright set you may want to sacrifice some browns or greys for it.  Or maybe just tweak things that could work in a red ramp so it isn't the odd color out.

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 15:54

Hmm, not as great as I hoped but not as bad as I feared.  Most of the stuff that isn't working is just the stuff that's meant to be low contrast.  A remap to these colors could be made to work I think.  The whiter shades work really well, I'm surprised.  I was mostly curious about LPC because the coloring inspiration for that and this palette are the same.  I've also always felt that LPC's pallet could use a little unification and tweaking

Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 23:08

Everything you said for the first 8 minutes or so I felt like you were preaching to the choir.  I wholeheartedly agree with it.  All of it excellent advice, things I've said myself more than once and all stuff any good artist should know and follow.  That isn't to say that the rest isn't a great tutorial ('cause it is) but it's a bit different when every other word makes you want to point at the screen and say "Yes!  Exactly!  He gets it, why doesn't everyone else?!"

For references I would like to emphasize that real world references are better than pixel art ones.  Other art is a good way to learn techniques but it's also extremely easy to copy mistakes or repeat things that were made to work within a restriction you don't have.  Real world references are always better.  The way I tend to work is either only with real world references or with with both pixel and photo references.  I almost never work with just a pixel reference and in the very rare cases where I do it's for something I have already reciently and heavily researched.

I think it's really cool that you built multiple examples for different skill levels using different methods.  Great idea, I'd love to see that concept expanded on somehow.

I think it's important to point out that while it is possible to get a good result by starting with an outline most professional pixel artists do something similar to Bart's second method, where the shading and volume is done first.  Usually the sillouette is cleaned up a little later in the process.  It's a great way to define volume and light so that the end result has more dimention with good contrast.  The extranious bits are carved away and the outlines (if there are any) are added at the end with the other details.  This also means that on things with more complex shapes there is less tweaking and redrawing.  It tends to be a faster way to work.

Actually blocking out the shading on the reference image is an interesting method.  It should be really helpful to a lot of people.  If you're not going to be precise in your blocking please be careful not to introduce and recreate errors in your final image.  In your example there were a few problems with this, like a subtle curve up again with the shadows on the left side and a little zigzag in the shadows of the neck of the vase that were both lost.  I'd suggest turning that redline on and off as you work to avoid that problem.

This is a good tutorial, I hope people find it useful!

Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 17:00

Hmm.  I'll have to play around with it, but this could be a pallet I could use.  I wonder how the LPC artwork would look remapped to these colors?