Author Topic: Are these graphics any good.  (Read 271752 times)

sam

  • Fanatic
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • This statement is false.
    • MSN Messenger - samlancashire@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • samlancashire.com
    • Email
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #30 on: 2006-03-30, 08:40:14 PM »
All these things you're saying that look bad (except for the whole depth thing) is (in my mind) what makes some of the graphics cartoony.

hebedaymun

  • Guest
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #31 on: 2006-03-30, 08:41:18 PM »
Hmmm...not really, it just feels like you're burning these colors into the veiwers eyes.  Seriously, try a darker blue background, trust me, it will look much better!

sam

  • Fanatic
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • This statement is false.
    • MSN Messenger - samlancashire@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • samlancashire.com
    • Email
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #32 on: 2006-03-30, 08:42:56 PM »
The Mario games use a light bg, they dont burn your eyes. Anyways I gotta go.

hebedaymun

  • Guest
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #33 on: 2006-03-30, 08:45:01 PM »
Dude, look ----->
                ----->

Super Mario uses good contrast between the green, brown, AND blue.  It looks good, but yours don't contrast very well.  I'm SERIOUS.

Dr Obvious

  • Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
    • http://www.drobvious.net
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #34 on: 2006-03-31, 03:00:51 AM »
Sadly, heybedaymun is right about the depth and contrast.  I know you're going for cartoony, but you do need to think about color and form when you're making your tilesets. 

The first thing is that if your game hurts my eyes, I'm not going to play it.  The background shouldn't have such bright colors unless you really need those colors.  Try making the background Mario blue with maybe some simple little clouds in there, that might help. 

The second thing I noticed is that you're using a lot of lines that run off the edge of the screen and objects.  That is making your scene look very flat.  Once again, I know you're going for cartoon style, but try removing the lines and that will give your picture a little more depth to it.

For the first two picture, the ground looks fine except maybe the grass.  Use the tutorial level with SGDK that eaches you how to use gradient and that would make the grass look better.  For the trees, bring the lighter things forward and the darker ones back, that will help add a little more depth to the area.  Also, figure out where the light might come from and add a little bit of very simple shading.  Even cartoons have some shading and shadow to make things at least believable.  You might also want to darken the trees.  I'm assuming you're not using MS Paint so you have quite a few colors to play with so take advantage of that.  Your lizard blends in with your trees and can easily get lost in them.  The last thing that really needs to be looked at for now is the water.  I would either take away a lot of the spikes or even better yet just not use them.  I'm guessing you're making them move, but you can get away with that effect pretty easily without the spikes.

For the third picture. the first thing would probably be get rid of those yellow lines.  Diagonal + yellow really makes them stand out more than anything in the scene and you don't usually want your background being the focus.

All in all, I can tell you put some time and detail into this and it's a good start, but it all looks pretty much like programmer art (and I can say that because I use to be a programmer :-p) and/or placeholder art because it is just so flat.  Even looking at the Mario pictures, the background, characters, and foreground are all seperate because of minor little details and proper use of color.  Yes, hebedaymun is a jerk, but he is at least making some sense.
« Last Edit: 2006-03-31, 03:19:40 AM by Dr Obvious »

Orion Pax

  • Contributor
  • Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
    • OPX
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #35 on: 2006-03-31, 07:02:22 AM »
wow... just wow. This thread makes me ill. I planned a longer post, with crits but this is all I can muster at the moment.

Bulbaboy

  • Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #36 on: 2006-03-31, 04:04:27 PM »
IMO, something that would help is to ditch the "mottled" texture, like in the tree leaves or the water, stop trying to look "realistic", and EMBRACE your 2D roots.  You know, stuff like Super Mario World, or NES-era if that's too tough.  I mean, does Mario need fancy texturing on his trees that looks more appropriate for 3D?  No!  He embraces the fact that it's 2D and doesn't have to look realistic, and creates a game that's still beautiful, in its own flat little way.

sam

  • Fanatic
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • This statement is false.
    • MSN Messenger - samlancashire@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • samlancashire.com
    • Email
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #37 on: 2006-03-31, 05:47:58 PM »
 better?
(all I changed was bg color, not sure if I like it ,but post comments)

sam

  • Fanatic
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • This statement is false.
    • MSN Messenger - samlancashire@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • samlancashire.com
    • Email
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #38 on: 2006-03-31, 06:37:19 PM »
Quote
The second thing I noticed is that you're using a lot of lines that run off the edge of the screen and objects.

What do you mean?

Orion Pax

  • Contributor
  • Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
    • OPX
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #39 on: 2006-03-31, 07:24:45 PM »
The problem with your background color involves understanding some color theory. To be honest its one of my weaker subjects but it is so very important. Anyway... I'm just going to copy paste a bit on a document I was writing for this section. I've been slacking around here but this is a small peice of my framework document from which to expand into specifics.

paste:
__________________________
This is by no means a complete explanation as color theory is a complex subject. However I will list a few basics and related topics to consider when employing color theory in your game art.


Warm (yellow-red) colors & more saturated colors will naturally come to the foreground while cool (blue-green) colors & less saturated colors will recede into the background. The same is true of contrast. More contrast comes forward while less recedes. Keep this in mind while designing your foreground, background layers and also elements that require the players attention.



Typically your background layers should have less saturation, less contrast, less detail and often times, but not necessarily use cooler colors than your foreground layer. With these factors we are creating a sense of depth while putting our attention on the player and what he/she needs to see & do. Combined with parallax scrolling the illusion of depth can be quite powerful. You should study some 2d existing games to get a feel for this. Plenty of screen shots can be found through google images.



Note: If the end user is constantly straining their eyes to find elements of focus from the background or surroundings it will become a frustrating, unpleasant experience. If a game's graphics make the goals unclear or worse causes eye fatigue how long would you keep playing it?
___________________________
http://poynterextra.org/cp/colorproject/color.html - Flash tutorial, probably the best I've seen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_theory - It's a bit dry ad technical but still full of usefull information.


Looking at your last screen shot... the vines, which are in front of the trees are very hard to see against the tree line. Try using a brighter or warmer green on vines. You could also add some blue into the tree green.

You have an issue with your objects appearing flat. This is because you know no defined light source. Typically in platformers you will find that the light source comes in at a 45 degree angle from the top left. For the tree trucks that means a spotlight close to the left side and a shadow on the right. You may want to cheat in a secondary lightsource to highlight the far side of the tree trucks. Getting the lighting right is more important than adding detail. It may be a 2d game but dont think 2-dimensionally... even in cartoons there is a simplified light source.. light and shadow give form.

You've added a lot of texture to your trees (leafy part) in order to mak them more interesting. However they are still flat. Again this is because you need a defined light source. If you are going for a realistic approach this will be kinda tough however with simplified lighting (think of the green areas as somewhat sphereical) the light would spotlight in top left with shadow on the farside.

While not perfect by any means you can look at the forset tileset demo. Even there, like you, I applied a texture to make them less bland. However, there are 3 shades of green in the leafy trees... spotlight, ambient, shadow so to speak.

In beginner art classes/school among the first things you do is build a color wheel and draw/shade cones,boxes and spheres. As boring as that can be these fundementals really effects everything you create.

Your animation on your lizard, the walk cycle could use some work. While I'm tempted to get deep into that its not the most pressing matter and not even a bad attempt. There was a thread I would link to on the old exboard forums but I think those got damaged? Anyway hope this was useful. =]

sam

  • Fanatic
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • This statement is false.
    • MSN Messenger - samlancashire@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • samlancashire.com
    • Email
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #40 on: 2006-03-31, 07:58:08 PM »
Thanks man, helps a lot. I've got both your graphics sets on my comp, they're amazing.

Dr Obvious

  • Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
    • http://www.drobvious.net
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #41 on: 2006-03-31, 08:44:57 PM »
Quote
The second thing I noticed is that you're using a lot of lines that run off the edge of the screen and objects.

What do you mean?

I understand color theory and lines and making things look...the way you want them, but I am horrible at explaining them so please forgive me.  >_<

When you have a line that runs off the edge of a picture, it makes it look flat.  You have a lot of lines running onto your edges (on the background and the foreground pieces) and it's just making everything looking really flat.  I understand that lines are necessary so maybe just cut down on the number of lines there.  With the front lines on your foreground pieces, making them a thin black line that fades to the gray of the rest of the texture could help that.  It won't be that solid line anymore and maybe that will make it not so flat (or maybe just not have so many lines there).  With your background, change it from yellow and I'm not sure what else to add at the moment because I'm not sure what they're supposed to be. 

As for the color of your sky, that helped.  It's not so bright anymore and I actually believe there's a sky back there and not some white background.  Now we just need to work on your other colors there.  First off, I didn't even notice that the vines went over the trees until someone else said something.  Like I said earlier, you have a lot of colors and try to take advantage of them.  This same concept applies to your characters.  You have a little hedgehog looking guy that blends in to the tree trunks and your main character blends into the trees.  Try changing their shades to make them stand out more.  I imagine them moving would help some, but unless you want these guys hidden, I would change their colors up a little.

-edit-
Was going to show some good/bad contrast images, but they're too big and don't feel like messing with them at the moment...
« Last Edit: 2006-03-31, 09:02:28 PM by Dr Obvious »

sam

  • Fanatic
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • This statement is false.
    • MSN Messenger - samlancashire@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • samlancashire.com
    • Email
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #42 on: 2006-03-31, 09:16:55 PM »
I went through about half of the flash color tutorial thing, I'll finish it tomorrow.
I think the reason I don't like that (BG) color too much is because it looks almost like water. I can't remember who said it before but I think if I could do some good clouds they would really look good and stand out.
In reply to Dr Obvious's post:
Okay...I get it now. (lines)
In the grey/yellow BG I'd like to keep the yellow because I'm using that BG for my factory level and I wanted it to kind of look....radioactive/nuclear kind of thing, I spent a lot of time trying to make the three triangles in a circle thing but it looked like crap (it's hard because you need to draw a triangle with a curved back on about a 30
« Last Edit: 2006-03-31, 09:20:50 PM by sam »

Bulbaboy

  • Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #43 on: 2006-03-31, 09:29:11 PM »
You could probably make the yellow less eye-catching if you made it darker, then.

sam

  • Fanatic
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • This statement is false.
    • MSN Messenger - samlancashire@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • samlancashire.com
    • Email
Re: Are these graphics any good.
« Reply #44 on: 2006-03-31, 09:33:53 PM »
Okay, thanks.
Now I must go draw this penguin.
*Trys to restrain himself from evily laughing*
MUAHAHAHA